China cracks down on sex-drug Web sites

BEIJING, Jan 9 (Reuters) - China is shutting down about 200 Web sites for carrying illegal sex-drug advertisements, state media said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of measures to clean up the Internet.

About 6,000 Web sites have been found carrying illegal, sexually suggestive adverts involving sex-related drugs or health supplements, said the People's Daily, the Communist Party's newspaper.

Some 199 would be closed and 130 "rectified", the newspaper said. It did not say what would happen to the rest.

China has launched several campaigns to clean up online material and step up control of the Internet ahead of this year's Beijing Olympics, widely seen as a coming-out party for the rising political and economic power.

Last week, top publishing officials slapped restrictions on internet Web sites that allow users to upload video and audio, and asked all producers to check their inventory for risque material with threats of fines and other punishments.

"Some audio-video products, in the name of 'sexual health' and 'sex education', but without any scientific content, use colourful pictures or text containing seductive words to lure customers," a recently released government statement said. (Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie and Jerry Norton)