Notice concerning Prohibiting Obscene Books, Obscene Pictures and Other Sexual Materials

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Central Propaganda Department, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Communications, State Tourism Administration, State Administration of Industry and Commerce and General Administration of Culture Notice concerning Prohibiting Obscene Books, Obscene Pictures and Other Sexual Materials

4 April 1981


All provincial, municipal and autonomous region Party Committee Propaganda Departments, Public Security, Commerce Offices (Bureaus), Culture, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Bureaus, all ocean shipping companies, all localities’ Customs:

In recent years, smuggling and import of obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual materials from abroad and overseas has increased markedly. According to Customs statistics, among the printed products imported in 1980, more than 19000 obscene and sexual printed products have been confiscated, a 4.1 times increase over 1979. Playing cards with images of naked women and nude figures have also been discovered, as well as “kaleidoscope” type ballpoint pens and toys containing naked images, records and audio tapes carrying lascivious songs, and even obscene films, video tapes, video discs, etc. The main channels of entry are: secretly mailed into the country in the middle of printed products and letters; secretly carried in by foreigners, overseas Chinese and visiting Hong Kong or Macau businessmen; illegally transported in by smugglers; and brought in by our ocean vessels’ workers and personnel going abroad. These things are vulgar and low, and have an extremely large corrupting nature. Some have already been scattered in society, and mainly are distributed and copied among a part of the youth, it is also discovered that a small number of bad people, reproduce and sell them for profit, the harm to the healthy growing up of minors and social morality is very large.


It shall be pointed out that, following our country’s international contacts becoming more frequent daily, the infiltration of the capitalist world’s degenerate ideology and culture into our country will certainly increase; and the struggle between corruption and anti-corruption, infiltration and anti-infiltration in the ideological sphere is unavoidable, and will be of a long duration. Therefore, we must have a clear understanding, vigorously and actively conduct work, and be sure not to let things slide. All localities shall, on the basis of the spirit of State Council Document no. (1979)167 “Provisional Regulations concerning Management of Our Country’s Individuals’ Importing and Exporting of Printed Products for Personal Use”, vigorously perform suppression work of obscene products and printed works.


I, All localities’ Customs shall, according to the spirit of State Council Document no. (1979)167, strengthen inspection work, and realistically guard the first gate. Where import of overseas and foreign obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual products is discovered, they shall be detailed and confiscated without exception, where circumstances are relatively grave, a fine shall additionally be imposed.


II, Tourism, trade and service departments must strengthen the education of their staff, and tell them that Customs permits tourists of foreign nationalities to bring a certain number of printed products for their own use, of which the content is generally not inquired, which is to care for their ideological state and life habits, and is not permitting them to spread them in our country’s society. Because of this, it is necessary to determinedly refuse books, pictures and other sexual materials having obscene content as a gift from guests, in all cases where it is discovered that guests have lost the abovementioned books, pictures or materials, they must be immediately and completely given to that work unit’s hygiene department; the hygiene department shall timely clean then op and destroy them, except for a selection of a small number of samples which are submitted in report to the public security organs, they may not be preserved or spread. this sort of samples shall be collected in provincial, municipal and autonomous region public security offices or bureaus’ public order departments, and a special is appointed to take care of them.


III, Culture, education and scientific research work units where import of foreign books, magazines and materials is relatively plentiful, shall appoint a special person to conduct inspection of imported books, magazines and materials, all those containing obscene content must be strictly taken care of, and the reading and use scope must be limited; where they have no reference or use value, they shall be sealed up for safekeeping or destroyed.


IV, Among oceangoing vessel workers and personnel going abroad, it is necessary to strengthen anti-corruption struggle education, and they are strictly prohibited to bring obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual materials into the country.


V, Administrative industry and commerce management, commerce and culture department must strengthen management over markets, photo studios, bookstalls and grass-roots cultural centres (stations), and prohibit the scattering and spreading of obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual materials. Where it is discovered that the abovementioned books, pictures and materials are transported or produced, reproduced, sold or rented, it shall be determinately banned, and the materials confiscated and submitted to public security organs. Where circumstances are grave, public security organs shall deal with it severely according to the relevant provisions of the “Criminal Law” and the “Public Order Management and Punishment Regulations”.


VI, Work units that are discovered to have scattered obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual materials must conduct Socialist moral education over their subordinate personnel, raise their resistance ability, and cancel the influence. Those having this sort of books, pictures or materials in their hands, must be advised to hand them over on their own initiative. Henceforth, it is certainly necessary to achieve that obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual works are not disseminated, not seen, not bought and not sold.

Persons positively distributing them must be subject to punishment by State cadres such as a demerit, work transfer, detainment, etc. according to the circumstances; youth must be subject to criticism and education or the punishment of detainment.


VII, For standards and definitions concerning suppressing obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual materials, the provisions of State Council Document no. (1979)167 will still be carried out for the moment. In order to make it convenient for comrades doing this work in reality to distinguish and grasp this, a name list of a number of relatively common obscene books, obscene pictures and other sexual materials is attached; obscene books, pictures and materials not entered and or newly discovered hereafter, may be suppressed with reference to the content and nature of the name list.


VIII, After receiving this Notice, all relevant work units must conduct consultation, and must strengthen regular communication, exchange information and act in coordination.


中央宣传部、公安部、文化部、商业部、  交通部、旅游总局、工商行政管理总局、海关总署  关于查禁淫书淫画和其他诲淫性物品的通知  (1981年4月4日)


六、发现有流散淫书、淫画和其他诲淫性物品的单位,要对所属人员进行社会主义道德品质的教育,提高他们的抵制能力,消除影响。手中已有这类书画、物品的,要劝其自动交出。今后一定要做到不传、不看、不买、不卖淫书、淫画和其他诲淫性物品。   对积极传播的人,要按情节,国家干部可给以记过、调动工作、拘留等处分;青年人要给予批评教育或拘留处分。


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