China rewards student for porn-surfing

China rewards student for porn-surfing

A college student in China who said his studies suffered after he discovered Internet porn has been awarded 10,000 yuan (1,466 dollars) for helping the government crack down on sexual content online.

The unidentified student at an unnamed college in northern Shanxi province reported 32 websites that contained pornography, winning a nationwide contest that has encouraged web-surfers to hunt down porn, state media said Monday.

"In the past, when I was in middle school, I used to get grades that were good enough to enter a really good university," the Beijing News quoted the young man as saying.

"It is because of the influence of pornography on the Internet that I was only able to go to junior college," said the student.

The nation maintains strict censorship of the Internet to curb what the government deems to be unhealthy content including porn and violence -- a system known as the "Great Firewall of China".

Officials have offered rewards to Internet users who report pornographic websites.

In the first month of the effort, nearly 62,000 websites were reported, the paper said -- an indication that a hefty number of web users were on the lookout for porn.

The winning student's porn-spotting ability had also won him monetary awards from local Internet censors in the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, as well as Hebei and Hainan provinces, it added.

Chinese authorities arrested more than 5,000 people in a crackdown on Internet pornography in 2009, officials said earlier this year.

Internet use has expanded at a dizzying pace in China, which now has the world's largest online population with at least 338 million users.