China's censors have closed down 13K websites since 2015

CIOL Writers
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China's censors have taken down 13,000 websites in 3 years

China has shut down around 13,000 websites since 2015 for breaking the country's internet rules, state media agency Xinhua reported. Xinhua said the country had also prompted the closure of nearly 10 million internet accounts due to people refusing to use their real names.


"These moves have a powerful deterrent effect," Xinhua quoted Wang Shengjun, vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), as saying. Google, Facebook, Twitter and The New York Times are all blocked in China, among countless other foreign websites.

Despite being home to the world’s largest number of internet users, a 2015 report by the US think-tank Freedom House found that the country had the most restrictive online use policies of 65 nations it studied, ranking below Iran and Syria. China had implemented the measure to block fake accounts to curb rumors and salty language, but it's widely believed to be an effort to silence dissent by making it easy to identify political opponents.

Within China, websites must register with authorities and are responsible for "ensuring the legality of any information" posted on their platforms, according to the regulations in force since 2000. When their content runs afoul of authorities, they can be shut down or fined.