Report: 1.3 million websites shut down by China in 2010

A state-run think tank of China, otherwise known as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has reported that it believes 1.3 million websites were shut down by the large Asian country last year. Despite the significant number, it also reported that the number of webpages available to those in China has risen to 60 billion during 2010, resulting in a 79% increase.

BBC News reports that Chinese officials have become somewhat tougher on regulations to which all websites hosted in the country are obligated to abide by and therefore has caused a significant number of them to be shut down. According to the Academy of Social Sciences, there were 41% fewer websites in China by the end of 2010 than the previous year equivalent.

Back in 2009, the government launched a crackdown on pornographic websites, so this may be one of the contributing factors to seeing a decrease in the amount of websites overall. Despite the Chinese firewall that is deployed throughout the country, a Chinese Academy's researcher said that China had a "high level of freedom of online speech". Later on, however, in the statement, the individual stated that "this means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated".

China has a tattered history when dealing with information freedom online. The government has previously had bad relations with the search giant, Google, and has been known to request certain websites to be closed that are located outside of the country.

Image Source: Reuters

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Yet more in the continued smear campaign against China. How many websites have been shutdown by the US or other countries? The US managed to shutdown 84,000 websites in one go with their attempt to censor the web. And the number is irrelevant without context, as if 700,000 were child porn sites and the other 600,000 spreading malware then there's not much to complain about.

So are these shut down or just blocked? I also don't see a mention of types of sites. I mean if 800k of these were human trafficking related (obviously unlikely), then awesome!

thornz0 said,
So are these shut down or just blocked? I also don't see a mention of types of sites. I mean if 800k of these were human trafficking related (obviously unlikely), then awesome!

IIRC, I read some while ago that China will shut down domain names that doesn't comply with some regulations of identification for the owner. And I guess this is what this article is about.

This means that you no longer can register a .cn domain with a false identity and email, which is very good to fight bad web sites.

if that proxy service isn't blocked I can't see why it wouldn't work. The internet is the internet in all countries.

Ruciz said,
if that proxy service isn't blocked I can't see why it wouldn't work. The internet is the internet in all countries.

Unless of course the firewall performs deep packet inspection...

my chinese friend used Hi5 and vampirefreaks because facebook was blocked, that was her only "issue" its not like she was/is affected like people would think, she surfed normally and well she said no porn though but she didn't care of course, and i just joked about it.

EmilyTheStrange said,
my chinese friend used Hi5 and vampirefreaks because facebook was blocked, that was her only "issue" its not like she was/is affected like people would think, she surfed normally and well she said no porn though but she didn't care of course, and i just joked about it.

How about proxy? Is he able to access facebook via proxy ?

EmilyTheStrange said,
my chinese friend used Hi5 and vampirefreaks because facebook was blocked, that was her only "issue" its not like she was/is affected like people would think, she surfed normally and well she said no porn though but she didn't care of course, and i just joked about it.

So she has NO issues with accessing articles about Tiananmen Square massacre. I thought that incident was erased from china's history. /S

"Shutting Down" a website and Blocking access to it in your Countries firewall are 2 totally different things... which is what most of the 1.3 million "shut down" sites probably are, just blocks.

PlogCF said,
I bet Linux isn't popular in China...

And what exactly would using Linux solve? You still have to deal with the same internet regulations as everyone else.

autobon said,

And what exactly would using Linux solve? You still have to deal with the same internet regulations as everyone else.

OH I get it now. Linux wouldn't solve anything, you're still bound to the ISPs rules and the ISP is bound by the governments rules.

autobon said,

And what exactly would using Linux solve? You still have to deal with the same internet regulations as everyone else.

I meant that the openness of Linux (development wise) could probably pose a problem to the Chinese government, as they would have to restrict many types of app downloads, which would go against the whole "free to modify" mantra that the Linux community talks about.

PlogCF said,

I meant that the openness of Linux (development wise) could probably pose a problem to the Chinese government, as they would have to restrict many types of app downloads, which would go against the whole "free to modify" mantra that the Linux community talks about.

I don't think the open nature of Linux has anything to do with whether or not China would allow or support Linux. After all, it's not like Microsoft is turning over Windows source code to the Chinese government for "official review and approval".

China's biggest problem with freedom of speech has always been focused on protecting people from themselves meaning wiping out anti-government propaganda and any sort of material it deems inappropriate for the Chinese population such as violence, drugs, and of course porn. Linux has nothing to do with any of this as far as the open source nature of the platform.