China's top cyberspace watchdog has ordered some 26 online audio platforms to shut down or rectify their services for spreading content on pornography, historical nihilism and superstition. (Photo: IC)
Despite a crackdown on online child pornography on social media platforms, including online forums and instant messaging applications, a large number of photos and short videos that show half-naked or nude teenagers continue to circulate.
Cyberspace experts from Chinese internet giant Tencent's guardian project on Thursday shared with the Global Times how these photos and videos were produced and spread on the internet.
For example, in one case, police captured a man, who offered a girl money to make an obscene performance, and profited by livestreaming him sexually abusing her.
In another case, police busted a suspect who pretended to hire child stars through an online forum, but filmed videos remotely of them nude or masturbating, claiming to be a physical exam.
Cyber expert Zhong Zhenkun said the criminal gang has created a hidden and professional industry chain, and hiring child stars is one of their tactics.
First, they would use fake pictures such as forged business licenses, casting recruitment photos to prove their identity and then trick children and teenagers into disclosing their personal information. Then, they would request the children to take photos in a swimsuit, and even nude videos, claiming they want to check for scars on their body, Zhong said.
With the children's personal information, they will also lure the children to continue sending them photos by threatening to leak pictures to their parents and classmates.
Zhu Wei, a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law, believes that profits and curiosity have led to the spread of child pornography.
"I saw socks used by girls at an online second-hand marketplace. This is similar to promoting child pornography," Zhu said.
Zhong said it is still very difficult to root them out due to improved tactics of criminal gangs and the traditional family concept.
When police find someone suspected of sexually abusing over children, many of the victims' family who either deny the facts or cooperate.