Feeds

As China rises on the net, website numbers shrink

Government crackdown blacks out 1.4 million sites

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Even as reports put Chinese as the number two language of the Internet, behind only English, strict government control is reducing the number of Websites within China.

With 457 million Internet users behind the Great Firewall, China’s online boom has matched its long economic boom; the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) says in 2000, the country only had around 22.5 million users.

However, in the last year the government has reasserted its strict state control over what all those Chinese-speakers can access: 41 percent of the Websites that existed at the beginning of 2010 had disappeared by the end of that year. From more than 3 million Websites at the start of the year, the total had fallen to just 1.91 million by the end.

CASS cites “pornography” as the main reason for shutdowns, although there’s the usual suspicion that the government is also cracking down on political dissent.

There is, however, an aspect of the data that suggests another force could also be at work. Although the number of sites fell, the CASS study found that the number of pages grew. The state-sponsored agency gave this as evidence of thriving free speech on China’s Internet. CASS media spokesperson Liu Ruisheng is quoted by AFP as saying “our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated”.

CASS says 60 billion new pages were created during 2010, even though these are hosted on a falling number of domains. In other words, China’s iron control of Internet content is consolidating the number of content hosts in that country.

It certainly wouldn’t surprise El Reg to find that content control was, either intentionally or otherwise, helping concentrate the market power of major hosts, in a country famous for using market control to favour insider capital. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.