World soaks up the scandal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 February, 2008, 12:00am

The scandal surrounding the celebrity sex photos has captivated the Chinese-speaking world and many other nations.

Newspapers, internet sites and television stations have provided extensive coverage of the scandal, and Edison Chen Koon-hei's apology yesterday was run on most of the world's top news sites.

Expatriates in Hong Kong have reported repeated requests from friends back home for links to sites showing the pictures and information about the stars.

Many popular celebrity gossip internet sites have published the nude pictures and run daily commentaries on the saga.

Tens of thousands in Taiwan forgot work to watch yesterday's press conference. All Taiwanese stations broadcast it live.

Interpreters were on hand to give simultaneous Chinese translations of Canadian-born Chen's English confession. Cable stations reran segments hourly.

The steamy photos have become the talk of Taiwan, especially as they coincided with the Lunar New Year holiday.

Mainlanders were also fascinated. Popular websites such as, and carried Chen's press conference live and offered a word-by-word translation.

Meanwhile, the photos posted on the popular chat room have been viewed nearly 20 million times a day by mainland internet users.

Mainland police have warned internet users they will be breaking the law if they access the pictures or pass them on. Police have arrested 10 people for producing, selling or buying some of the photos.