The number of Chinese websites has fallen by 41% over the past year, according to a new report from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. From AFP:
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said there were 1.91 million websites operating in China at the end of 2010, 41 percent fewer than a year earlier, attributing the change to stronger regulation.
“Although the Internet is posing some problems for new media, our regulation is becoming stronger, we have taken a very big step in this area,” CASS media expert Liu Ruisheng was quoted as saying on the organisation’s website.
Liu said China had “a very high level of freedom of online speech” and there had been few cases in recent years of sites being closed purely to control speech.
He said a crackdown launched by the government in 2009 under which thousands of sites were shut down was mainly aimed at putting a stop to online pornography, although critics have said other sites were also closed.
But while the number of websites dropped, Liu said Chinese webpages increased in 2010 by 60 billion, an increase of 78.6 percent over 2009.
“This means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated,” he said.