A platform for pirating Japanese anime series and films was shut down on Monday after Chinese authorities arrested four people suspected of taking part, according to a Tokyo-based lobby group that on Tuesday called the decision a “
The website, known as b9good, was the largest illegal sharing platform for anime (Japanese cartoons) according to the Content Overseas Distribution Association (Coda), an industry anti-piracy group.
The US-based Motion Picture Association listed the platform as a "
" piracy site in 2018, and the Coda organization said it racked up more than 300 million views in the two last years.
It is unprecedented that a full crackdown has been carried out on the basis of criminal prosecution in China
,” the Tokyo lobby group said in a statement on Tuesday.
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This is the first time that Chinese law enforcement has responded to calls from the Japanese organization for the arrest of people involved in hacking activities, CODA added.
Contacted by AFP, an official from the Beijing Cyberspace Administration – the authority that regulates the Chinese internet – declined to comment.
Piracy has been a long-standing problem for Japan's manga and anime industries, which enjoy international acclaim.
Comic book publishers argue that it results in huge revenue losses.
In recent years, the Japanese government and industry have stepped up efforts to combat piracy.
In 2022, four major Japanese manga publishers said they wanted to sue an American company accused of hosting the servers of a piracy site.
A man who ran an online manga library accessed by some 100 million people each month was arrested in 2019 in Manila.
Its site made approximately 60,000 manga (graphic novels and Japanese comics) freely available to Internet users immediately after their publication.