China bans "sexual sounds" on airwaves

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BEIJING, Sep 26 (Reuters) China has banned ''sexually provocative sounds'' on television and pulled the plug on a show reconstructing infamous crimes by women ahead of a major Communist Party meeting next month.

The order, issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, is the latest in a raft of measures which have included axeing reality shows featuring sex changes and plastic surgery and banning talent contests during prime-time.

''Sexually suggestive advertisements and scenes showing how women are influenced into a life of crime are detrimental to society,'' it said in a statement posted today on its Web site, referring to its decision to axe ''Red Question Mark'', a crime documentary.

''Commercials containing sexually provocative sounds or tantalizing language as well as vulgar advertisements for breast enhancement and female underwear are banned, effective immediately,'' said the SARFT notice.

The watchdog also ordered an end to programmes with titles including the names of ''sex-related drugs, products or medical institutions''.

A total of 1,466 advertisements worth 2 billion yuan (246 million dollar) in revenues had been stripped from China's airways since August, SARFT said, citing department statistics.

Since launching a campaign to purify China's state-controlled airways earlier in the year, the media watchdog's edicts have gained fever pitch in recent weeks, ahead of a meeting of the 17th Party congress, a sensitive five-yearly meeting at which key government leaders are appointed and national policy set for the next few years.

It earlier urged the country's increasingly freewheeling broadcasters to forgo vulgarity and bad taste in the pursuit of ratings in favour of providing ''inspiring'' content for the masses imbued with ''socialist'' values.

REUTERS SG SSC1349

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