East China Province Shuts Down Big Audio, Video Market

Xinhua, 24 September 2001

HEFEI, September 24 (Xinhua)—The biggest audio and video products market in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui province, has been shut down during a nationwide campaign to protect intellectual property rights and crack down on pornography.

Sources with city government said the Audio and Video Market affiliated with Dongfang Mall, which was closed down on September 15, was home to up to 70 audio and video product businesses.

Shi Lu, director of the Cultural Market Management Office with the local government, said more than 90 percent of the audio and video products sold on the market were contraband, pirated or pornographic products.

In the province, nearly 90,000 copies of illicit audio and video products were confiscated in April-August this year, compared with 130,000 copies for the whole of 2000.

According to a plan formulated by the Ministry of Culture, all major audio and video product markets will be closed down by the end of this year throughout the country.

They will be replaced with audio and video chain stores and supermarkets, and electronic commerce is also encouraged for trading under the newly-introduced policy.

Analysts say the move will make it easier for the government to clamp down on such illegal activities as producing and selling pirated and contraband audio and video products and pornographic videos.