Wikipedia defies Chinese government

September 17, 2006 at 6:00 pm (China, Companies, Internet)

Jimmy Wales, founder of wikipedia and one of the 100 most influential figures in the world according to Time magazine, refused to bow to Chinese government by defying a self-censorship on his website. (click here to read the news report)

Wikipedia, a tremendously populous reference tool, was banned in China last year, mostly on it’s entry on Taishi clash. It’s a great shame that the most populous online tool has little Chinese contents, since mainland Chinese can’t get access to it. It’s not only a pity to wikipedia, also a pity to Chinese people, who were isolated from a hugely powerful Internet tool.

Chinese can’t blame Wales of course. It’s the government who are blocking them from benefiting from the convenience and revolution of the Internet.

Jimmy Wales, unlike Yahoo’s Jerry Yang and Google’s two founders, rejected to delete the contents that Chinese government hates, and not surprisingly wikipedia will continue to be banned in China. Wales started wikipedia not for making money but to spread the strength of the Internet. This may be the motivation for his ethic and firmness. Yahoo and Google’s founders are businessmen, and it’s easy to understand businessmen don’t have morality. They bend to wherever money is.

For those who are interested in wikipedia, the Atlantic has a great story.

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