RealTime IT News

Portal Blocked By Chinese Government

China-focused portal China.com is being blocked in China by the Beijing authorities, according to industry sources.

Officials of China.com deny it, but tests by internetnews.com found the site was unreachable inside China while accessible from abroad.

With the approaching tenth anniversary of the Beijing Massacre (June 4) and the fiftieth anniversary of the People's Republic (October 1), the Chinese government has blocked access to the portal in China because of its links to socially and politically 'contaminated' sites, it is believed by some observers.

The blocking is surprising because the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, has a significant stake in the parent company of China.com Corp., China Internet Corp, according to an insider.

Expatriate China portal ChinaBuzz reported last week how strained relations between Hong Kong-based management and Xinhua officials over the subject of censorship had resulted in a block on the site.

What this will do to the company's ongoing attempts to raise money remains to be seen.

Pundits surmise that foreign influence on the portal may have been a significant factor to their demise. China.com has Western management and backing from US tech giants like Sun Microsystems and Bay Networks.

Moreover, Beijing's curtailment of access to the portal in China may have something to do with their portal versions for Taiwan. Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province.

China.com is loosing some control of its Taiwan.com portal with the launch of the Taiwan.com Corporation joint venture with Taiwanese CD-ROM company, CMC Magnetics.

Regardless, China.com is a difficult position; at the same time it is criticized by the Hong Kong and Taiwan Internet industries for Xinhua's ownership, it is also impeded by the Beijing regime's censorship.