China's a great place to go if you want to find a company to manufacture some hardware components, but it's a little less awesome if you want to, say, blog about making those components. The country's ramped up its assault on the Internet over the past few years, jailing "immoral" citizens and shutting down websites left and right. Now, China's bragging about its heavy-handedness; the country boasts that its iron grip strangled the life out of over 1.3 million websites last year alone.
The regulatory chopping block devastated the face of the Chinese Internet. The country's Academy of Social Sciences – we'll call it "ASS" –
told BBC News
that the shutdowns resulted in a 41 percent decrease of the total number of Chinese websites by the end of 2010. Despite the crackdown, ASS spokesman Liu Ruisheng claimed China enjoyed a "high level of freedom of online speech."
Even though almost half of all Chinese websites were culled from the Net last year, the survivors churned out new work at a break-neck pace: the total number of Chinese web pages available skyrocketed by 79 percent. "This means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated," the ASS spokesman argued, presumably to the derisive laughter of the BBC reporter.