A popular translation website Yeeyan.com was shut down by Chinese authority last week. The website had been online for two and a half year. It translated news content from English press by a community of volunteers and started collaborating with The Guardian since May 2009.
There are some speculation that the shut down was caused by the translation of Guardian stories. But there is no official explanation yet.
Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of Guardian News & Media, commented that:
“This is a very disconcerting development. Yeeyan is a wonderful community of mostly volunteer translators who give Chinese web users access to a wide range of content published outside China, including Guardian reporting and commentary.
“We hope this move does not represent an attempt to suppress independent-minded journalism, and that the Chinese authorities can reassure us that Yeeyan and the Guardian will be allowed to resume publication.”
After the website is down, the yeeyan team put up a letter of thanks and apology on its front page says (via DANWEI's translation):
Due to our errors in handling some of the articles on the website, we went against the relevant regulations; therefore Yeeyan has to temporarily shut off its server, and adjust the relevant content.
As for closing the website without giving notice, and for causing inconvenience, we are deeply sorry.
Please don't worry too much, we have saved all users’ data. We will solve the problem we face as quickly as possible, and recover the articles and personal information treasured by everyone.