Chinese News App Toutiao Punished for Erotic Content

By Jonathan Zhong, November 14, 2018

0 0

One of the most popular news apps in China, Toutiao, is in trouble after it was found allowing users to publish pornographic content.

According to, on November 5 the news reading app was ordered to remove 16 stories which were deemed to contain pornographic content from its ‘story’ section, a platform that allows users to publish their own works of fiction. The story section of Toutiao has been put under a one-month suspension, during which time no new content can be published (the section is still accessible, though).

The titles of these erotic stories include: ‘After a Night of Debauchery, That Man Turned Out to Be Her New Boss’ and ‘In Order to Earn Money to Treat My Mom’s Illness, I Worked at a Nightclub and Was Surprised that My First Customer Was My Teacher.’

Though the punishment has been meted out, this is not the first time the news app, which touts itself as the ‘porter of news,’ has been a target of a crackdown on pornographic content. According to, in January of last year Toutiao was shown to have published topics such as ‘why aren’t mistresses of corrupted officials good-looking?’ and ‘what are girls who are seemingly shy but horny inside like?’

In April 2017, CCTV criticized Bytedance, the company behind Toutiao and video-sharing phenomenon TikTok, for allowing lewd videos to circulate on its video platform Huoshan Live Stream.

READ MORE: Facebook's New Video App Lasso Rips Off China's TikTok

Toutiao is not the only app that has been targeted for discipline: another news app called Doubao Kuaixun was also punished for similar reasons two days after the Toutiao case. 

This coincides with a campaign launched on October 20 by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) to clamp down on ‘WeMedia disorder,’ addressing issues ranging from publishing ‘politically harmful information’ and distorting national history to spreading fake news and pornographic content. 

The term ‘WeMedia’ refers to news-sharing accounts run by independent content creators on social media platforms such as WeChat and Weibo, which often have massive fanbases and influence. 

Currently, the campaign has ‘dealt with’ more than 9,800 WeMedia accounts, including @唐纳德说 (literally ‘Donald Says’), @深夜视频 (‘Midnight Video’) and @万能福利吧 (‘the Omnipotent Hub for Horny Stuff,’ not so omnipotent now, are you?), along with issuing warnings to WeChat and Weibo for ill-management of their platforms.

[Cover image via]

more news

Beijing Metro Stations to Use Facial Recognition for Faster Security Check

Multi-channel security check expected to improve passenger flow.

We’re Hiring: Social Media Intern (Shanghai)

Want to work for China's number one English-language media company?

New Media Artist Aaajiao Talks to Us About His Creative Process

In this age of digital communication, questions about our use and growing dependence on technology have become more and more prevalent.

Bad Dog Owners May Soon Face Social Credit Point Deductions in Shanghai

Bad dog owners might soon see their social credit scores affected.

Over 25 Million Flights Blocked by China's Social Credit System This Year

The credit system continues to catch fare evaders and other miscreants.

China Jobs: Teaching, Media, Business Development

A roundup of the latest employment opportunities around China.

Eating, Drinking on Beijing Metro Now Impacts Social Credit

Say goodbye to the hordes of all-day strivers catching up on their morning baozi on the way to the office.

Memes Flood Chinese Social Media After First-Ever Black Hole Photo

Space enthusiasts, curious minds and virtually every other person inhabiting the planet got a real treat yesterday as the first-ever image of a black hole was released to the public.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.