Chinese version of Wikinews gets blocked in China

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

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Logo for the Chinese Wikinews.
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Wikinews has learned that access to the Chinese Wikinews website has been blocked in China. Wikinews can also confirm that the English version of the website is still available in China.

Users using the social networking site called Twitter have reported that the site was "blockade[ed] today by the mainland" of China. Others, writing on the Wikimedia Foundation's mailing list also state that the Chinese version of Wikinews is blocked in major Chinese cities such as Beijing.

The reason for the blockade is not yet known. Wikinews contacted the Chinese government for a statement, but so far there has been no reply.

The Chinese government has already blocked the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, but later in July 2008 the government began to allow users to access the site during the Summer Olympics. The Chinese version of Wikipedia was then blocked once again after the games had ended.

Wikipedia had previously been blocked for over a year in 2005, but in November 2006, the site was unblocked. The Chinese government then re-blocked only a month later. The block was an attempt to contain information relating to sensitive topics in China, such as Tibet and Taiwan. The Chinese government has an active policy of blocking websites they consider harmful.

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