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.

7 comments

  • Does harmonized mean blocked in China?

  • there are different levels of blocking in China, sometimes it is not in a national level, but regional level. sometimes it is not whole site blocking, but specific blocking. from the blogger’s description, it seems that it is a partial / selective blocking. still need to find out the details of it. but there is a suggestion that friendfeed should enable https access, so that the content would not be scanned by the Great Filter.

  • harmonize is the “key word” of 2008 in China from goverment. So, website harmonized = blocked= GFWed = “walled”. the “key word” this year is “anti-smut”, aslo the same meaning of harmonize :)

    Of course, only “friendfeed.com/e*” were blocked, it’s a selective blocking. But we have to say GFW is getting more smarter and more insensible, and we need everyone to anti-GFW/anti-censor.

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

  • The whole internet should be harmonized somehow.Twitter and the other “user friendly” social sites just hacking the users.Is this the way Internet should work?
    But on the other hand i feel for the Chinese people… at least China resist more than 5 000 years , will resist against Internet too.

  • […] the most popular Web 2.0 website in China, is forced to close some of its e-groups due to the recent anti-Smuts campaign. However, many of the deleted e-groups are social and political in nature rather than vulgar and […]

  • […] the most popular Web 2.0 website in China, is forced to close some of its e-groups due to the recent anti-Smuts campaign. However, many of the deleted e-groups are social and political in nature rather than vulgar and […]

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