Even though I know that just writing about it here means this post will turn up the next time someone searches for “china porn,” this 4/18 Southern Daily article, “Portals Flooded With Sexual Content for Page Views; The Profit-less Can’t Be Choosy,” provides some useful insights.
Some have alleged that the more sophisticated net users have all gone to blogs, leaving behind newbies… If one wants to attract them, sexual content seems to be a pretty effective play.
Despite the Chinese government’s current Civilized Internet initiative,
…many who raise the Web 2.0 flag are also using the opportunistic method of sexual content in order to rapidly increase their pageview traffic, and attract the attention of investors, “..clean it up after you get the money, that’s what a lot of domestic websites are doing at any rate.”…“Pagerank is the root of all evil!”
Aside from the big players who are looking for large foreign investors, of course, there are many more smaller internet companies living “below the poverty line,” who earn their revenue from tiny floating ads linking viewers to sex videos, webcams, photos, and chat rooms.
As for regulations, those deemed “search engines” (such as Qihoo.com) are not subject to the same content regulation as those in the “portal” category. It’s also technologically difficult, if not impossible, to regulate increasing amounts of Flash, video, podcasts, and live chat. The only good thing about the current situation, says Podlook founder Gu Shaofeng, “is that most of the people who are on webcams are high level users; but when webcams become a common way to talk, there’ll be no stopping it.”