In a national effort to curb online piracy, 18 criminal offence cases have been handed over to police for investigation, China Daily reported Tuesday.
"Most of the involved suspects were arrested by local public security departments," Zhao Xiuling, director of the copyright department of the the National Copyright Administration, was quoted as saying.
The 18 cases are among 172 instances of web piracy broken up since last September by a series of Chinese departments including the administration, the Ministry of Public Security, the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Ministry of Information Industry, said the paper.
Altogether, 76 websites were closed down in the sweep of online piracy across the country, according to sources within the administration.
Meanwhile, 137 websites were ordered to remove any illegal content, and 29 websites were fined a total of 789,000 yuan (97,000 U.S. dollars).
The campaign uncovered a website, www.66woool.com, created by Lu Xiaoliang and Chen Liang in Central China's Hubei Province that provided illegal services on a game developed by Shanda Interactive Entertainment, China's biggest online game operator.
According to Zhao, they earned nearly 1 million yuan (123,000 U.S. dollars) through a total of 80 servers.