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Tuesday, 28 November, 2000, 16:35 GMT
Chinese porn trader jailed for life
Shanghai
Police found nearly 30,000 videos of Ke's in Shanghai
By Duncan Hewitt in Shanghai

A Chinese court has confirmed a sentence against a man who was jailed for life for trading in some 46,000 pornographic videos.

The Shanghai Higher People's Court rejected an appeal by Ke Jiangshan, 29, against the verdict which was handed down in September.

According to local media, the court said the severity of Ke's crimes merited a life sentence as well as the confiscation of personal property.

'Warning' to traders

Ke, who had moved to the city from nearby Zhejiang Province, was arrested late last year after police raids on two rented apartments and a local goods shipment company uncovered close to 30,000 pornographic video compact discs.

Bar sign with the word
A bar sign that reveals changing attitudes to sex
Reports said these had been sent to Ke from southern Guangdong Province, the source of a large percentage of the pirate videos which have flooded China in recent years.

The severity of the sentence is being seen as a warning to traders in pornography, whose increasingly open flouting of the law has provoked anger in some Chinese media.

'Yellow' movies

One Shanghai newspaper recently reported that pornographic-video salesmen regularly set up stalls outside one of the city's main hospitals.

And at several Shanghai markets, tourists are frequently approached by men offering what are known in Chinese as "yellow movies" for sale.

The authorities seize millions of these videos every year, yet there's clearly a ready market for them.

And despite the tough official line, suggestive and nude images are increasingly common on the covers and in the pages of officially-published magazines, on display at many book and newspaper stalls.

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