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Saturday, 15 July, 2000, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
China charges web entrepreneur
Chinese internet user
China now boasts more than 10m internet users
By Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Beijing

An internet entrepreneur in China has been charged with trying to overthrow the government after his website published articles commemorating the 1989 pro-democracy movement.

Huang Qi was arrested in June on the eve of the 11th anniversary of the bloody suppression of the student-led movement.

Mr Huang's arrest underscores the Chinese government's determination not to allow the internet to be used to distribute material that challenges the Communist Party's monopoly on power.

'Subversion'

Huang Qi's wife says police in the city of Chengdu called her in on Friday to give her written notice that her husband was being charged with subversion.

Protester infront of tanks, Tiananmen protests
Mr Huang published articles about Tiananmen protests
Such charges are often used by the Chinese government to prosecute those who dare to challenge its authority and monopoly on power.

If, as is likely, Mr Huang is convicted, he could face a prison sentence of 10 years or more.

Mr Huang's alleged crime is to have allowed articles commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen democracy protests to appear on his website.

Corruption articles

Huang Qi set up the website a year ago to publicise information about missing people.

But the site quickly became a magnet for information about human rights and government corruption.

In the run-up to this year's Tiananmen Square anniversary, a number of articles were posted on the site.

The articles called for the government to overturn its verdict on the 1989 protests and to rehabilitate those who took part.

Mr Huang's prosecution is another sign of how the Chinese government is determined not to allow the rapid development of the internet to undermine its control on information or its monopoly on power.

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See also:

07 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
China arrests internet editor
04 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
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