When the Chinese government blocked Facebook and Twitter Chinese Internet companies filled the gap. And Beijing saw that it was good.
Then the Chinese people wanted to use the Chinese-based social networks to actually talk about real events and the news instead of the private lives of music stars.
So, now it seems that the government of China has done what it usually does when people are getting information that has not been pre-approved by the leading government ministries.
Reports are coming out of China that the leading Twitter-like companies in China have been off line since Tuesday.
On Wednesday, NetEase.com Inc’s microblog (t.163.com) was inaccessible. A notice said the site had been down since 7 p.m. on Tuesday and was under maintenance.Sohu.com Inc’s microblog (t.sohu.com) was also shut down for more than a day earlier in the week and all Chinese “twitters” now display the notice “in testing mode.”
Company sources told Reuters that the developments were the result of tightened government controls over the new services.
“Nobody will publicly announce the reason, but it is as obvious as a fly on a bald head,” one source said, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
The Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post cited unnamed “industry sources” as saying that the websites were under pressure from Chinese censors.
I trust no one is surprised by this.