Online encyclopaedia Wikipedia blocked in China ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

China's Weibo

In late April, the Wikimedia Foundation determined that Wikipedia was no longer accessible in China.

Aside from services and apps by Google and Facebook, China's Great Firewall has also infamously blocked Wikipedia from being accessed.

While the Chinese language Wikipedia has been blocked since May 2015, the ban has now been extended to all sub-domains of the website.

The Wikimedia Foundation stated that they received no notifications of the ban in advance.

"OONI data shows that China Telecom has been blocking zh.wikipedia.org since at least the 10th November 2016", said the report.

The latest move to block all versions of Wikipedia could be linked to online translation tools, which make it easy for Chinese users to read anything on Wikipedia, Smith said.

The free community-edited encyclopaedia has been intermittently blocked by authorities around the world. China has blocked the particular web pages referencing the tragedy and the Himalayan region of Tibet, but it is impossible to block particular webpages of Wikipedia, as the site switched to HTTPS.

'When one country, region, or culture can not join the global conversation on Wikipedia, the entire world is poorer, ' Lien adds.

AFP could not open any of Wikipedia's versions in China on Wednesday (May 15).

The massacre, which is also known as the "June Fourth Incident", is a major taboo in China and any form of public commemoration of it is strictly prohibited. 'It symbolises the fear that the Chinese authorities have of the truth'.

The reason behind this block is ill-defined, but the ban comes just weeks before the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, which culminated in a violent government crackdown.

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