Police in Beijing have vowed to detain anyone caught distributing any of the Edison Chen nude and sex photos.
Hong Kong police said some 1,300 private shots of the celebrities had been stolen by the staff of a computer repair shop from a faulty laptop belonging to Chen.
"Showing the photos to friends or posting them on blogs or online forums will be breaking the law even if it is not for the purpose of making profits," a Beijing police official said, adding that the penalty will be detention for up to 15 days.
"If someone transmits more than 200 of the photos as a package on the internet, the sender will be prosecuted for criminal liability," the official said.
Mainland authorities have ordered websites and internet service providers to exercise self-censorship, filtering and deleting the photos, but private sharing through instant messengers and other software remains rampant.
Meanwhile, a Taiwanese man has been arrested for allegedly distributing photographs of the celebrities that have attracted 140,000 internet viewers.
Huang Wei-lun, 24, was suspected of posting explicit photos and videos in his blog featuring Chen and instructing net surfers how to download the images. He admitted to downloading some 400 photos from a website.
If convicted, he faces a maximum two-year prison term in addition to a fine of NT$30,000 (HK$7,400). AGENCIES