China blocks all language editions of Wikipedia

Authorities in China have blocked all language editions of Wikipedia the online encyclopaedia's owner said today ahead of the country's most politically explosive anniversary

Authorities in China have blocked all language editions of Wikipedia the online encyclopaedia's owner said today ahead of the country's most politically explosive anniversary

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.

In 2017, the site was blocked in Turkey and it has been blocked intermittently in Venezuela this year.

"With the expansion of this block, millions of readers and volunteer editors, writers, academics, and researchers within China can not access this resource or share their knowledge and achievements with the world", Samantha Lien, communications manager at Wikimedia Foundation, told AFP over email.

China has now blocked the encyclopedic website, Wikipedia in all languages.

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Tests run by GreatFire.org, an organisation that tracks internet censorship in China, showed the site had not been accessible from within mainland China since April 23. Researchers first discovered the block in early May, and the Wikimedia Foundation has now confirmed the block to the BBC.

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

Charlie Smith, the pseudonym used by one of the co-founders of Greatfire.org, says that the blanket ban may have something to do with translation tools, which allows readers to translate blocked content into Chinese.

No reason has been given as to why China expanded the ban, but it has been known to block websites as anniversaries of political events draw near.

This month marked the 100th anniversary of the May 4th movement, which began as student protests against imperialism but quickly grew into widespread protests against the government.

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