BEIJING (Reuters Life) - China's capital is seizing ghost and horror books from shops to protect the "physical and mental health" of its youngsters, local media said on Tuesday.
Authorities have been scouring bookstores, newsstands and shops near schools, known for their orthodox and conformist teaching but where youth subcultures have flourished with an increasingly diverse society, the Beijing News said.
"The illegal publications are quite popular among students and are apt to harm the physical and mental health of young people," the newspaper quoted a government circular as saying.
Collections of scary tales have found a frantic readership in China in recent years, especially among students and white-collar workers who find them a ready outlet from stressful lives.
The tales are usually printed by small illegal publishers or circulated on the Internet, often borrowing from a rich pool of classic Chinese ghost stories, giving them up-to-date settings such as elevators or night buses.
Among the blacklisted stories are adaptations of "Death Note", a Japanese manga comic series about a high school student who has a supernatural notebook that kills anyone whose name is written in it, the Beijing News said.