Wikipedia making bread in China? Not so, but close

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

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People living behind the "Great Firewall of China", do not have direct access to Wikipedia, a popular internet encyclopedia. But they can eat Wikipedia.

Or Wekipedia, actually.

Blogs have now started reporting that supermarkets now sell "Wekipedia" bread, created by a "Beijing Wekipedia Foods Co., Ltd." Just one letter different than the famed website, it appears to be a new company and product.

Even its Chinese name 维百客 (pinyin: wei bǎi kē) is similar to the encyclopedia's 维基百科 (wei ji bǎi kē); the characters 维 and 百 are in both names. The words "bǎi kē" means "encyclopedia", a term with no obvious connection to baked foodstuffs like bread.

A bearded man is featured on the packaging; Blognation jokes that it is supposed to be Jimmy Wales, the site's co-founder.

The Wikimedia Foundation's communications manager Sandra Ordonez was amused at the branding choice, commenting "I think this is very funny. If they [internet users in mainland China] can't access Wikipedia virtually, at least they can eat it for breakfast".

While the Wikimedia Foundation is not in the bread industry, it is currently looking for "dough" of another sort. The American-based charitable organization is holding a fundraiser, to help pay for expenses like running their servers.


Sources

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