Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More censorship coming soon.

China starts office to control 457 million Internet users

BEIJING — Real estate saleswoman Jiang Rong knows there are restrictions on Internet access in China.

"But it's not a problem as I only go online to watch TV dramas," says Jiang, 21, of the southwestern city Chengdu. "I agree with the government that 'harmony' is most important for China now," she says, using the Communist Party's term for its policy of stifling dissent while pursuing development.

Last week, China established a new government agency designed to ensure that the rest of the nation's world-beating 457 million Internet users are equally compliant and that its fast-growing Internet companies, several of which are waiting for a listing on U.S. stock exchanges, play by Beijing's rules.

The State Internet Information Office said it will ensure the "healthy development" of China's Internet. Assuming responsibilities now spread across several ministries, the agency will supervise both content and companies in everything from online news reporting to gaming and video.

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