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Mobile porn applications

(Shanghai Daily)

08:18, September 20, 2011

Parents are up in arms over freely available mobile phone applications with pornographic content that they fear could have a disturbing effect on their children.

The applications, including electronic books, games, news, pictures and videos with sexual contents, are available on Apple Inc's App Store for iPhones, and the Electronic Market for mobile phones with Android operating systems.

By typing the Chinese word for "porn" in the search column at the App Store, a total of 189 applications for the iPad and 316 for iPhones are found available for download, some free while others cost up to US$2.99 each.

Most of the apps are electronic books written in Chinese, including novels or picture books on topics such as extramarital affairs, mistresses and prostitutes. Most of the books have detailed sexual content.

At the online Electronic Market for Android phones, the search result for "porn" revealed games featuring "sex robots," books on "dirty affairs" and pictures of "hot models," all available for free download. Although some were deleted by the system for violating regulations, more were appearing each day.

"When I was touring around the App Store online, an app called the 'banned book collection' caught my eye," a caller surnamed Liu told China National Radio. "But I was surprised to find that the app was full of detailed sexual content."

He was one of many parents who called the radio to complain.

Liu told the radio program that he shared Apple products with his children, and he feared that those apps could prove disturbing for them.

Industry insiders told the program that the designers and developers of porn apps at the App Store may have reached agreements with Apple Inc to put the apps online and share any subsequent profits with the company.

The profits may come from apps charging fees to download or from advertisements on the free apps.

Officials with Apple told the program that they had checked all the apps online and some had been clearly marked as only being suitable for adults.

A dialog box would pop up before the downloading of some apps began, saying that the restricted content was only suitable for people over 17.

However, the system is unable to verify whether the person downloading the app is over the age of 17 or not.


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