The Shanxi Provincial Communication Administration recently issued a new regulation restricting mass text messaging (Short Message Service) over cell phones. The regulation mandates that information service providers must self censor, while government approval is required for dissemination of content pertaining to national security and social unrest.
On July 8, 2007, the special program “Transparency” on the BTV life channel (BTV-7) and “Beijing News” of BTV-1 reported about “Paper Stuffing Dumplings” at Beijing breakfast booths. On July 18, however, “Beijing News” of BTV-1 declared that the report was “fabricated.” The producer of the report has been detained. BTV expressed a deep apology to society. The “Transparency” program appears to have been shut down and the website cannot be accessed.
Two organizations based in the United States released the results of an online survey they jointly did of Internet users inside China. Edoors.com, a Chinese language portal site, and Qingxin, a Chinese language online message board, jointly conducted the survey from June 27 to July 28, 2007, on Internet censorship and circumvention among Internet users inside China. 94% of those surveyed know that the authorities routinely censor information generally available to people in China. 94% believe that China is implementing Internet filtering and censorship out of fear of losing control once its citizens have access to the truth.
Ai Weiwei (艾未未), who contributed to the design of the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympics, also known as the “Bird’s Nest,” said of the ceremony, “I’m afraid it’s going to be awful.” He was speaking in an interview for Friday’s issue of a German newspaper Hessische Allgemeine. “The Chinese government has chosen choreographers and directors who sacrificed their so-called art in favor of propaganda,” the artist and architect said. “They were taking part in a grand manipulation of the public.”
Source: Min Pao News, January, 5, 2008
The Ministry of Information Industry of the People’s Republic of China reported that there were over 539 million mobile phone users in China in November 2007, an increase of 78 million compared with the number of subscribers in 2006. The reform of mobile phone roaming tariffs was part of the reason for the rapid increase.
Guangdong province took the lead with 77 million cell phone subscribers while Tibet has only 765,000 subscribers. According to People’s Daily, the number of text messages sent over cell phones exceeded 535 billion in November 2007.
Source: Ministry of Information Industry Website, January 3, 2008/People’s Daily, December 25, 2007
On November 27, an explosion occurred at Lianhua Science and Technology Inc. of Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, causing dozens of deaths. After the incident, the city government launched an emergency response mechanism and managed to deter 69 journalists with 21 media outlets including Xinhua News Agency, China Youth Daily, China News Services, Xinhua daily, and Jiangsu TV Stations from covering the incident. Surprisingly, the local government sent prostitutes to the reporter’s hotel rooms, and in addition resorted to bribery and police force in an effort to make sure that the incident was “correctly” reported.
Source: Chinese Media Net, December 31, 2007