China blocks 1,500 new websites-Global Voices

February 2, 2009

More than 1500 websites closed down in China anti-Smut
Oiwan Lam
Global Voices Advocacy: January 30, 2009

http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2009/01/30/more-than-1500-websites-closed-down-in-china-anti-smut/

Since the anti-Smut campaign began in Jan 5, in less than a month, the China government has already closed down more than 1500 websites.
Xiao Qiang, director of the China Digital Times, and Jack Qui, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication Department in the Chinese University of Hong Kong both pointed out that the anti-Smut campaign also involves political censorship (via RFA).

Moreover, according to the Economic News Daily, among the 62 companies listed by the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center for their vulgar and indecent contents, one fifth of them are invested by venture capital. From RMB 2 million to USD 0.3 Billion. The total amount of investment estimated is about RMB 4 billion.

Social Networking sites, such as Douban and XiaoNei network are also targets of anti-Smut cleaning, many e-groups have been removed. Last year, Xiaonei Net has received a USD 384 millions investment from Softbank (a Japanese I.T investment venture).

Friendfeed walled
Apart from local websites, many overseas websites have been filtered. LeON reports that Friendfeed.com has been harmonized in China. Links and embedded widgets to ff.im’s accesses were denied. User can only use tools, like TOR to get access.

Although the crackdown is harsh, some bloggers see it an opportunity to promote anti-Great Fire Wall tools.

Blogger, Baozuitun, predicts that as more and more websites were forced to close down, the webmaster will move their server to overseas and they will be actively promote tools that can get around the great fire wall.

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