Porn downloader’s punishment reduced to a stern talking-to


The cancellation notice

Ren Chaoqi, the Nanyang resident who was fined 1,900 yuan when police discovered an adult film stored on his computer, has been given a reprieve.

Following an uproar among netizens and considerable attention from the media, police have reconsidered his punishment and have cancelled his fine:

The facts in the case are clear and the law was applied correctly, but in light of the fact that this is Ren Chaoqi’s first violation of the Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection and Management Regulations, and that the infraction is fairly minor, fining him 1,900 yuan is relatively harsh. We hereby cancel document #421 and impart a punishment of criticism and education.

Although this is welcome news for Ren, who was most concerned with the size of the fine, it neatly sidesteps what observers saw as the critical issue in the case: a conflict between the law, which says nothing about personal viewing of pornography, and an administrative regulation that bars it. The police may have acted magnanimously in this particular instance, but that’s no guarantee for the future so long as they maintain that they did nothing wrong.

Ren blogged about his moment of awkward celebrity:

Yesterday afternoon the PSB called me over to announce that they had reconsidered: it turned out they had cancelled my fine. Before I went, I was worried because I didn’t have enough money to pay the fine, so suddenly receiving this information was like a large weight had been taken off me. But I didn’t really feel especially excited.

After the issue of the fine, lots of people asked me if it had affected my life. There’s been a definite influence: people are talking about it and my wife is always talking about me, so I’m really embarrassed. But what can I do? I can only blame my bad luck.

Another effect was financial. Our car parts store hadn’t even opened yet and my economic situation wasn’t too great. The “1900 affair” only added to our burdens. We had no way of knowing what the shop would be like in the future, so I found it hard to be happy for a while.

But after the revised decision I finally don’t have to worry anymore. It’s been a month of suffering, but things have finally reached a conclusion. Now what I really need to do is adjust my attitude and work hard at making money to support my family. Once again I thank my online friends for their support.

I hope that everything works out.

As for the reduced punishment of “criticism and education,” Ren told the media:

There really wasn’t any criticism. Mostly it was that I should try not to watch so much porn in the future.

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