Submissions/Wikipedia and Internet Regulation in Mainland China

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

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Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission
Wikipedia and Internet Regulation in Mainland China
Type of submission
Author of the submission
Shi Yuhang
Country of origin
Shaanxi Jiaxuan Law Firm
E-mail address
Personal homepage or blog

For controlling the cyberspace, the Chinese government blocked websites the don't like. In Mainland China, Wikipedia have been blocked several times. It can be predicted that the idea of a free encyclopedia is easy to contradict the value of an authoritarian government.

Detailed proposal

The development of Wikipedia in Mainland China is not good in past few years. Wikipedia have been blocked several times for some sensitive articles, which is not welcome by the Chinese authority. So far, most of the Wikipedia articles and services can be accessed through "https". For a long time, the Chinese Wikipedia can only be added/modified by people in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and VPN(or other proxy services) users in Mainland China, etc. without the participation of 500 million netizion, the number and quality of the Chinese Wikipedia articles suffered a huge lose.

The Chinese government never explained the rules of blocking, there won't be any notice before or after the blocking. And of course you can't sue any department, because no department is responsible for this action and no court will take such cases. If the reporters ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesman/spokeswoman would simply claimed the government just manage the Internet legally.

Last December, an Internet real-name system law passed in China. It required all the websites and Internet Service Provider(ISP) verifying the real-name information of their users. Besides this, another regulation required every websites put their records on government's file before they go online, some websites are even required multiple approvals by different departments. The authority prefer the idea of "under-controlled encyclopedia"(like Baidu Baike) rather than a free encyclopedia out of their hand. Since the real-name system law had been passed, the government could simply declare Wikipedia fail to provide real-name information and therefore violate the law, that's why it have to be blocked again.

As long as the rule of blocking is not clear, the development of Wikipedia in Mainland China have to face risk of blocking all the time.


Wikis in Asia

Length of presentation/talk

20 Minutes

Language of presentation/talk


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  1. Slashme (talk) 19:25, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. អមីរ ឯ. អហរោណិ 07:59, 12 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  3. CT Cooper · talk 00:48, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --Park tien (talk) 10:19, 21 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Anthonyhcole (talk) 21:23, 30 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Smuconlaw 10:50, 5 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Daniel Case (talk) 06:41, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  8. As a mainlander, I am looking forward to hearing what speaker is going to present. Excaliburplex (talk) 05:55, 8 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Braveheart (talk) For personal reason,this time I didn't fly to HK from San Francisco.But I'll be joyfully 'participating' Wikimania2013 with you guys through the Internet.Last year for Wikimania2012 in DC,my speech was just about the illegal Internet censorship in world.I've been with years' efforts,calling for the freedom of information&free knowledge,against the illegal Internet censorship in different countries.Thus for sure,I'll follow this important topic,and be very pleased to discuss online,with other wikipedians.OK,could the speaker send me the content of your speech afterwards,please?Thanks,and good luck to you. 02:26 8 August 2013(UTC)