In October 2018, a Chinese author was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail for writing and selling an erotic novel with gay sex scenes, reported South China Morning Post.
The woman author, whose real surname is Liu but uses the pen name Tianyi, sold more than 7,000 copies of her 2017 novel Occupy through Chinese online shopping site Taobao.
The book is about a “forbidden love affair” between a teacher and a student, and features “graphic depictions of male homosexual sex scenes”, South China Morning Post said.
According to ABC News, police arrested Liu in November 2017 and she confessed to writing the book. “According to the report, Liu told police she made 150,000 yuan ($19,000 euros) profit selling Occupy and other erotic books, which she had promoted on Chinese social media site Weibo,” reported ABC News.
Pornography is illegal in China. According to a judicial interpretation issued by China’s supreme court, selling more than 5,000 copies of pornographic books or making more than 10,000 yuan (1,260 euros) from their sale is regarded as an “especially serious circumstance”, which carries a sentence of “imprisonment for not less than 10 years or life”, reported South China Morning Post.
Critics have argued the 20-year-old judicial interpretation is outdated since the internet has made it possible to sell thousands of copies more easily.
Liu was sentenced at a court in Anhui province on October 31. She will reportedly appeal the sentence.
Four other people involved in the book’s publication were also fined and jailed for between 10 months and 10-and-a-half-years, ABC News said.