Wikipedia and Internet Regulation in Mainland China

This is Submission in Wikimania 2013.

The development of Wikipedia in Mainland China is not good in past few years. Wikipedia have been blocked several times for some sensitive articles, which is not welcome by the Chinese authority. So far, most of the Wikipedia articles and services can be accessed through “https”. For a long time, the Chinese Wikipedia can only be added/modified by people in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and VPN(or other proxy services) users in Mainland China, etc. without the participation of 500 million netizion, the number and quality of the Chinese Wikipedia articles suffered a huge lose.

The Chinese government never explained the rules of blocking, there won’t be any notice before or after the blocking. And of course you can’t sue any department, because no department is responsible for this action and no court will take such cases. If the reporters ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, spokesman/spokeswoman would simply claimed the government just manage the Internet legally.

Last December, an Internet real-name system law passed in China. It required all the websites and Internet Service Provider(ISP) verifying the real-name information of their users. Besides this, another regulation required every websites put their records on government’s file before they go online, some websites are even required multiple approvals by different departments. The authority prefer the idea of “under-controlled encyclopedia”(like Baidu Baike) rather than a free encyclopedia out of their hand. Since the real-name system law had been passed, the government could simply declare Wikipedia fail to provide real-name information and therefore violate the law, that’s why it have to be blocked again.

As long as the rule of blocking is not clear, the development of Wikipedia in Mainland China have to face risk of blocking all the time.

Some Thought About Xiangsheng

Qingqushe Xiangsheng

For the record, I’m not super fan of Xiangsheng(相声, Cross Talk), but I have some opportunities to hear it. One of my graduate school roommate listened Guo Degang’s Xiangsheng every night before sleeping. Every Lunar New Year’s Eve, CCTV will host a Spring Festival Gala Evening, and Xiangsheng would certainly be there.

Xiangsheng is an art about every day life. The content needs to connect to the aoudunice’s experience. Something far away from audience is hard to catch people’s “laugh point”. At least, it’s necessary for audience to understand what are actors talking about without too much consideration.

When xiangsheng was play in an close place, like any other comedy performances, it will certainly contain something not ready for children. It almost an indispensable part. The effect can be great if it was use properly. And no doubt these kind of xiangsheng can not go public for obvious reason.

In the tradition xiangsheng, there are two people, and a table. The main character standing outside the table, do the most of the jokes. Meanwhile the “wingman” standing behind the table, cooperating the jokes talked by the man outside the table. Just like what they did in BlackBerry 10 Presentation.

BlackBerry 10 Presentation

Modern xiangsheng do not have those rule, they can stand whatever they like. Sometimes there are more than two actors in the stage.

Anyway, no one hates joke.

Hard to Breath Sometimes

Like Beijing, people in Xi’an suffered from the poor air condition every winter. For the geography reason, it’s hard to snow or rain in Xi’an in winter, take this year for example, it was snowed once or twice. These snow turned into water as soon as it hit the ground.

Thus, air condition is really hard to change if there is no wind coming.

In there weather forecast of Xi’an, you can see a haze icon. When people breath, it can be felt that something is in the air. Inside the room is no better, unless you have a functional air filter.

Air Condition in Xi'an

The picture is the view out of my office. It seems much better than the morning. The entiry city just like “Slient Hill”.  In these days, blue sky is something only can be seen in TV.