China Cracks Down on Blog Service Providers
Within a week four major Chinese blog host sites have been shut down. China Newsmen, who claims to be the country’s first primarily news blog site, has been shuttered twice and since reopened with a new URL. Blog Bus and Blogcn have apologized to their registered users saying they had to suspend service temporarily due to “illegal content in some blogs”. Another, BlogDriver, said it had closed for “maintenance and shake-up”.
One blogger documents the clampdown in his personal Weblog.
Some bloggers have speculated that the tightening of control may be related to the on-going People’s National Congress and People’s Political Consultative Conference annual plenum in capital Beijing. Dissident are usually hushed and “destablizing elements” suppressed during the two-week session in March each year. “It’s no surprise,” said on blogger, since function of Blogs as personal news agregators will inevitably cause the government headaches in online information control.