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210 million Internet Users – a Tremendous Force that Can Guide China

According to China Internet Network Information Center, as of December 31, 2007, the number of Internet users in China had reached 210 million. According to The Beijing News, "This is a tremendous force that can guide and push China towards democracy and freedom." The most challenging task is not the Internet, but the authorities’ attempt to control it. The article is critical of the practice of putting someone in jail because of what that person writes. It suggests that the authorities should be open and treat Internet users with kindness – one should go along with “the grand trend of human civilization” instead of bucking it.

Source: The Beijing News, January 19, 2008
http://www.thebeijingnews.com/comment/shelun/2008/01-19/014@014708.htm

Xunlei (Thunder) Has Become the Biggest Source of (Internet) Piracy in China

On January 13, 2008, Deutsche Welle reported that Xunlei (Thunder, 深圳市迅雷网络技术有限公司), an Internet company based in Shenzhen, has rapidly become the biggest company providing Internet search and download services in China. The company was established in 2002. It initially offered only software downloads. The number of users kept increasing, to the point where it now claims to control 80 percent of China’s Internet download business. The company has quickly expanded its business into other areas. All the new hot products, such as music, movies, and software can be downloaded through its website.

Source: Deutsche Welle, January 13, 2008
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3055799,00.html

Technology Advancement: The Driving Force for China’s Law Enforcement

China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has just completed the first phase of the well-known "Golden Shield Project." The information technology project was initiated in 2001 and passed the test and the state’s inspection on November 11, 2006. The three milestone achievements of the first phase include 8 national-wide databanks and 60 applications systems, a communication network and computer information systems connecting over 800,000 computers, and a nation-wide PKI/MI system that has issued over 700,000 digital certificates and currently interfaces with 230 application systems

A Communist Party Directive on Media Controls

In November 2006, the propaganda department of a county Communist Party Committee affirmed that news reporting is a matter of politics. "Media is the mouthpiece of the Party." The Party should carefully guide public opinion by following "the principle of ‘enhancing positive publicity, blocking negative reports, and handling sensitive reports with caution." The directive calls for implementation of a mechanism of censorship so that "no person shall collect and publish news reports on problems and hot issues without the approval of the County Committee’s Propaganda Department." Topics banned from news reporting include disparity of income, lawsuits against the Party and the authorities, embezzlement and anything that will "bring instability to our society." News reporting of international events must be consistent with that of the central government. Violators will be publicly reprimanded.

Hong Kong Denies Entry to Hundreds of Falun Gong Practitioners – News Blocked in Mainland China

Just days before July 1, 2007, the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s hand-over to communist China, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan were denied entry into Hong Kong. After arriving, most of them were deported back to Taiwan. The incident started on June 25 when Theresa Chu, a Falun Gong human rights attorney was denied entry. As of June 30, about 520 people had been deported or detained at the airport.

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