China Web Site Registration Deadline Today
Efforts to help grow electronic commerce by the government tempered by fear of subversive elements online.
May 31 signals a deadline for Chinese-run web sites to register with the government or face an official shutdown, according to a Forbes account. The Chinese portal Sohu.com has been detailing this effort.
The Ministry of Information Industry claims to wish to eliminate online fraud and other unhealthy activities. Beginning back in March, sites run by government, commercial, and personal interests have been registering with the Ministry in advance of the deadline.
While China has figured in the news as sites like Google and MSN have moved to offer more services to the mainland, the government has not lost its distaste for the freedom of information available online.
Users of cybercafes have to register before logging onto the Internet. Those cafes have agreed not to allow unauthorized content on their sites or chatrooms. It is a level of government control that would be stunning to American net users. Last year, China shut down some 12,000 cybercafes because they did not follow their agreements.
China’s government claims its Internet users will grow to 120 million this year. The government sees how the Internet can be an ongoing boon to its growing economy. But the ongoing fear of anti-government information may stifle the sort of creativity an economy needs.
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.