NYTimes blocked on Chinese partner’s site

Gotta wonder how much a partnership between a US media outlet and a Chinese outlet is really worth.

Thanks to a Joyceyland Facebook posting of an article at Tech In Asia, we learned that the New York Times‘ Weibo has been suspended. (Well That Was Fast: New York Times’ Weibo Account Now Suspended [UPDATE: Or not])

According to the article, within 24 of the partnership announcement, the New York Times‘ Weibo page was suspended with no clear reason why. But in China, no reasons are the norm.

Tech in Asia reported an update that the site was up and running as of this morning. But again, no explanation why there was the outage.

One quick (cynical?) reason is that the Chinese censors had a typical knee-jerk reaction. They say “New York Times” and hit the BLOCK button. They must have missed the press release that said this was an approved deal.

6 Comments

Filed under Censorship, China

6 responses to “NYTimes blocked on Chinese partner’s site

  1. Hi Dan,
    The problem is that it’s impossible to tell when things are blocked deliberately by censors, and when it’s just the normal glitches on technology.
    Today I read that the Bloomberg Weibo account was blocked, possibly because of a story about the presumptive next Chinese president Xi Jinping. Then it was unblocked, and then re-blocked, reportedly.
    There are bloggers who track these movements, but I am not one of them. I just don’t have the patience. And it’s not like you can call and ask someone what they’re blocking!
    Today I had a hard time accessing much of anything on my iPhone — email, Twitter and Google were all not working. At the same time President Hu Jintao’s motorcade was going past my neighborhood. I was stuck in the back of a taxi (thanks to the motorcade blocking my usual cross-harbor tunnel) and asked my cabbie if they blocked signals when there was a Chinese VIP in town. He checked his tablet (yes, HK cabbies have iPads) and said it was fine. Then again, he was only used traffic control and weather websites.
    So was it Hu? Or was it just an unreliable WiFi signal plus the coming typhoon?
    We know that many things are blocked in China (thankfully not so much in HK) — but what is blocked exactly, and when, and how much, it’s hard to say. What it creates is this atmosphere in which you’re always looking behind your shoulder, since you never know.

  2. Frankie Fook-lun Leung

    An English language editor of CCTV explained that journalists in China, unlike their western counterparts, practice journalism with social responsibility. All news is good news. The government can do no wrong. Bad mouthing the government is socially irresponsible. Just pretend every thing goes well, whether natural disasters or man-made mismanagement, just ignore them.

  3. Frankie Fook-lun Leung

    The Chinese government has a lot of campaign euphemism to suppress freedom of speech. The most current and powerful one is to achieve harmony in society. The second, the Chinese Communist Party do make mistakes, don’t magnify them and tell the foreigners lest to create shame to your country men. The third, American media is always super-critical of China because America does not want to see a strong China being a rival to the USA. The fourth, these problems such as corruption reported about China are not unique to China. etc etc.

  4. This is not the first time. I guarantee you this will not be the last time either.

  5. Any time a foreign newspaper criticize certain aspects of the People’s Republic of China, it does it with an ulterior motive. What that ulterior motive is, China never explain. Their answer is: You know. What kind of argument or logic is that?

  6. Dare any newspaper in Asia expose the business relationships and wealth of the family members of a Chinese leader like New York Times? Give me one.

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