Civil servants in a district in a northeastern city could find themselves in big trouble if they are caught watching pornography – even if not at work.
Newly published civil servant regulations of Dadong district in Shenyang, the capital city of Liaoning province, state that civil servants in the district should not watch, collect or spread pornographic videos and publications, or make calls to pornographic hotlines outside their work.
They also state that civil servants should not have extramarital affairs or conduct other transgressions against family ethics and morals.
Other behaviour such as domestic abuse, gambling and superstitions are also not permitted for civil servants.
However the regulations, published last month, do not specify the punishment for breaches of the rules, although the party secretary of the human resource and social security bureau of the district said that the regulations had been under draft and discussion for two years before being issued, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
A notice on the website of Dadong district said that such regulations meant that private life would play a role in assessing the performance of a civil servant.
The regulations, which were issued at the end of last year but only widely reported by local media recently, have sparked a heated discussion on mainland social media, as some critics described the rules as a “low-level constraint aimed at kindergarten children”.
“Who will report [to their supervisors] after watching pornography or having affairs?” a Sina Weibo microblogger asked.
A government official of Dadong district explained to the Beijing Youth Daily that such regulations showed that restrictions on behaviour of civil servants should be tighter than those outside the civil service, even in their private lives.
China introduced its civil servant regulations in 2002, regulating the behaviour of civil servants at work.