China is planning to launch its own version of Encyclopedia to counter the renowned Wikipedia. China is always known for producing and promoting counter products and services and the news comes as no surprise since Wikipedia is used worldwide. It countered Google with Baidu. It countered Amazon with Alibaba. Well, the list is long.
It is hoping to build a “Cultural Great Wall” as the Beijing is worried over foreign influence by the users of Wikipedia. The project’s executive editor Yang Muzhi once listed Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica as potential rivals and looking forward to emulate them.
The China Publishing Group is undertaking the project and will ensure it has Chinese characteristics that would be the symbol of country’s cultural and technological development.
This will not be a open source like Baidu but will be written by professionals. The project which began in 2011 so far has got just over 20,000 scholars and academics who have enlisted themselves and is looking to get 30,000 more by 2018.
China has over 700 million internet users and its “The Great Firewall” has banned usage of Twitter and Facebook which can be accessed only through special software. A new restriction which will come into effect from June 1,2017 would require Chinese internet users to reveal their real names while accessing the content online.