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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 November 2005, 19:45 GMT
Outspoken Chinese blog 'blocked'
By Sebastian Usher
BBC World Media correspondent

Image of a computer keyboard
China has the second-largest population of internet users in the world
A popular Chinese blog has been blocked by the Chinese authorities, according to Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders.

Wang Yi's Microphone is run by a teacher in Sichuan province.

Reporters Without Borders says the site deals with "sensitive subjects" - including local officials' corruption.

It is the latest move by Beijing to impose its control on the use of the internet by its citizens - more than 100 million of whom are now online.

The site was recently nominated by German public radio station Deutsche Welle for a "best of blogs" award in the freedom of expression category.

The station described Wang Yi as an "anti-government intellectual".

Reporters Without Borders says his site was blocked on the orders of the local authorities in Hainan province, where the blog's host server is based.

Mixed attitude

China has the second-largest population of internet users in the world, after the US.

The authorities have a mixed attitude to the internet - on the one hand, they have encouraged the huge growth in citizens going online, seeing this as a way to produce a better educated and more business-oriented society.

But they also maintain one of the strictest controls of internet use in the world, trying to stop anything they deem politically subversive or pornographic.

Many sites have been closed and their contributors arrested for posting dissident views - or indeed any information that challenges the state's version of events.


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