China's Baidupedia: An Authoritarian Alternate to Wikipedia?



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Code :BSM0039

Year :
2006

Industry : Internet and e-commerce

Region : China

Teaching Note:Not Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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Introduction:Since the 1990s, the liberalisation of the economy and the rapid expansion of access to the Internet has resulted in greater flow of information between China and the rest of the world. Despite such transformation, the Chinese government remains apprehensive that free speech combined with free flow of information might hamper its control over the society by contesting its political legitimacy. Since 1995, the government has been imposing restrictions on themedia and the Internet.

Wikipedia, the fast-growing online encyclopedia that became a basic source of information formany people in China, was blocked in 2005. In April 2006, Baidupedia, a censored online encyclopedia in the Chinese language was launched. Unlike Wikipedia which allows its users to write and edit articles, Baidupedia's entries are censored by Baidu.com before they are uploaded on to the site. Analysts feel that Baidupedia is more of an authoritarian view of information management inspite of it being modelled after Wikipedia, whose defining feature is to allowits users to comment freely.

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