Net Nanny Follies

Chinese bloggers endure harmony overload

With the approach of the 17th Party Congress that begins on October 15, it seems that China's Net Nanny is in overdrive. Chinese bloggers are not pleased. Here are excerpts from three English-language blogs written by Chinese men who work in the IT and Internet industries.

Old school Shanghainese blogger Wang Jianshuo — who is usually very reluctant to discuss sensitive topics — wrote:

Yes, I am very frustrated

To prepare a "good environment" for the meeting, massive websites in China were shutdown. This time, much different from the previous actions, it is the whole data center instead of websites or servers that were shutdown.

Let me take few famous IDCs (Internet Data Center) as examples. Zitian, an IDC in Luoyang was shutdown completely, and all the 500 servers were unplugged from Internet, and tens of thousands of websites hosted there were inaccessible on Aug 24. Among them is the largest traffic tracking site 51.la, and this infected a very big portion of Internet websites in China.

Soon, on Aug 28, Lanmang, the other IDC in Shantou faced the same situation. Again, tens of thousands of websites were complete inaccessible. An unconfirmed news said the data center closed in Shantou has 3000 servers, and they are all closed. Lanmang has to hire lots of trunks to put all these servers and distribute the servers into many other data centers across China. I doubt this can work, since the fate of other data centers may not be better after few days. However, what else can they do? I understand how painful people feel when a site is shutdown.

After that, news about whole IDC was shutdown came one after one, and each time, at least hundreds of servers were complete unplugged from Internet. Since these IDC host about 100 to 200 websites per server, I cannot imagine how many sites were shutdown. If this continues, I guess the total number of shutdown sites may quickly be one million. In Shanghai, many data centers were very simply completely unplugged, and each time, hundreds of servers or tens of thousands of websites were disconnected from Internet. The Waigaoqiao Data Center, the largest and one of the most advanced data centers in Shanghai were completely closed these days.

That is just the beginning...

The Moonlight blog has a post titled China Internet censorship goes crazy:

Are they going crazy? Before they would warn and order the webmasters to delete "harmful" information from their websites, sometimes they just blocked the website. But now thousand of websites would be blocked if they are so unlucky to be hosted by the same IDC company with a "harmful" website.

China Web 2.0 Review also has news:

China IDC to Shut Down BBSs and Blogs

The situation is getting worse. IDCs in China are required to take self-discipline actions to close all BBSs, forums, Blogs, message boards or any kinds of interactive features in their hosted servers or virtual spaces, otherwise the whole IDCs may be closed completely. So if you want to start blogging, you may have to switch to a blogging service provider who has signed self-discipline pact, or to use a hosting service from abroad...


Click on the image above to go to a website previously set up by Chinese bloggers to stick a virtual voodoo pin into the Net Nanny doll.

There are currently 7 Comments for Chinese bloggers endure harmony overload.

Comments on Chinese bloggers endure harmony overload

I think this post is exaggerating if not totally fake. The BBS sites that I often visit including cmfu.com, 17k.com, tianya.cn, newsmth.com are all just fine. Can those who describes such massive shut-downs please name a few actual sites that were before open and now closed, not just by saying "hundreds and thousands" and on and on? H.F.

They'd probably shut down the entire internet for the party congress if it wouldn't disrupt business.

come on Howard Fei, its not a fake story, the internet is a far far larger place than those site you visit everyday, and I think you can find many stories about these IDCs on those BBSes you just mentioned.

Definitely not fake.

They shut down Waigaoqiao IDC completely in Shanghai, tomorrow they're checking Wu Sheng Lu (the main IDC).

Its doubtful they'll close down WuSheng lu IDC - a good bit of the country routes through there, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.

I've already shutdown all of the blog / forum stuff on our clients sites, and pointed them to a notice letting them know its part of a crackdown - eg http://www.computersolutions.cn/forum/

I just hope that this is enough, or in the next day or two I'll find out what they want to do to us.

I've already had one server shut down for 5 days 2 years ago, as they thought we were missing licence info (we weren't), its not fun, and they don't care how much grief and pain they cause to businesses relying on this stuff.

Lawrence / http://www.computersolutions.cn

I don't know if I'm the first person to point this out, but Feedburner was semi-blocked in China. While CNC users can still access it, people whose ISP is China TeleCom can on longer visit FeedBurner.com as well as the RSS feeds generated using Feedburner's service.

I noticed that Danwei is a FeedBurner user. It's still OK for people to use RSS readers such as Bloglines to read Danwei's RSS feeds because most RSS readers can bypass the blocking. However, because Danwei's RSS feed uses Feedburner's tracking service and the URLs are converted to something like http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/DanweiRss10/~3/153268057/with_wto_ipr_suit_in_the_backg.php, some people in China will not be able to click on that link to go to the orginal article on Danwei's website.

This can be fixed by turning off that feature at Feedburner. Also, it'd be better not using that feature when SEO is concerned.

At least in City of Guangzhou, IDC has been force to shut down all the bbs and blog severs. If the owner of sever don't get a specific licence for bbs, he can't open it for such a while. Well, Party Congress is over but when should we use our forum sevice?

Many owners have moved their data to oversea severs. But still thousands of bbs have to stay silence.

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