Since 2015 China has blocked access to the Chinese version of Wikipedia from its citizens, with the site remaining in an inaccessible state for some time, but now the government has decided to take things a step further.
According to the Associated Free Press (AFP) the Chinese government has blocked access to Wikipedia in all the different languages it is available in, with Wikimedia informing the publication that it was not given any warning or notice of the action.
Anyone who has travelled to China knows that accessing certain online services and sites is extremely difficult without the use of a VPN or similar tools. This as their government still holds firm control as to what its citizens see online.
The precise reason as to why China decided to escalate the level of the block is unclear, but it is perhaps telling that the change comes a couple of weeks before the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square killings, which severely highlighted the crackdown of freedom within the country at the time.
While this latest action from China’s government does not carry the cost of human life, it does illustrate that their attitude to free access to information for its citizens has not altered.
With Engadget pointing out that Chinese officials are even monitoring, deleting and arresting (in some cases) Twitter users who criticise their government online, it’s clear that the rights of people in the country are still being heavily infringed upon.
How Chinese citizens will react to this latest setup is unclear, but either way it is clear that access to knowledge is hard to come by in the Asian country and economic powerhouse.[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]