China to launch own encyclopaedia to rival Wikipedia

China Hires 20000 People to Create State-Sponsored Wikipedia

China Hires 20000 People to Create State-Sponsored Wikipedia

Thirteen years after blocking internet users in the country from accessing large parts of Wikipedia, China has plans to create its own online encyclopedia that its creators claim will be a "Great Wall of culture".

According to the officials, unlike Wikipedia, online Encyclopedia of China will be curated by selected scholars of the state-run universities rather than being openly editable by random volunteers.

So far over 20,000 scholars and academics have been enlisted to compile the project, which aims to have more than 3,00,000 entries by its 2018 launch. He stated, "This initiative is to attract more users towards the state-approved content". The impetus to make a state-sanctioned Wikipedia equivalent was, Yang says, global pressure for China to guide "the public and society" by creating its own platform.

While it's now unclear how much influence the government will have over "Chinese Encyclopedia" content, given their history and Muhzi's goals - it's unlikely to be a bastion of neutrality.

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China is under pressure to write its own encyclopaedia so it can guide public thought, according to a statement by the project's executive editor Yang Muzhi published last month on the website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A second edition, which can be accessed through a special terminal, was released in 2009.

It has maintained that its various forms of web censorship - collectively known as "The Great Firewall" - are necessary for protecting its national security. It will be twice as large as Britain's Encyclopaedia Britannica and nearly equal to the Chinese-language version of Wikipedia.

"The readers regarded it to be authoritative, accurate, and it branded itself as a "free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit", which is quite bewitching", said Muzhi. Yet for Muhzi, the goal isn't to match Wiki - it's to better it: "We have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world".

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