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