Chinese Blog Contest Rebirth of Hundred Flowers Campaign?
In what hopefully is not a 2005 version of the Hundred Flowers Campaign, the Chinese portal Sina.com is hosting a Chinese blogs contest. In a “hey, that’s not fair” approach, Sina.com is hosting the Blog Awards, and anyone can join, as long as their blog is hosted on Sina.com. Wait a second, that’s like Google hosting a blog contest but insisting that the blogs in the contest must be hosted on Blogger’s Blogspot.
Chinastic reports “Internet surfers are invited to vote for Best Blog, Best Designed, Best Commercialized and Best Journal blogs. The author of Best Blog can get an award of up to ten thousand yuan. The voting period lasts until October and the final results will be announced on October 28th. Sina.com launched its brand-new blog service early in September.”
This story normally would not be such a biggie, but it does make one wonder if Chinese anti-establishment bloggers will be entering. Recently China has clamped down on blogs and news sites, banning the following information from being printed (via Reporters sans frontieres) :
- violates the basic principles of the Chinese constitution :
- endangers national security, leaks national secrets, seeks to overthrow the government, endangers the unification of the country ;
- destroys the country’s reputation and benefits ;
- arouses national feelings of hatred, racism, and endangers racial unification ;
- violates national policies on religion, promotes the propaganda of sects and superstition ;
- diffuses rumours, endangers public order and creates social uncertainty ;
- diffuses information that is pornographic, violent, terrorist or linked to gambling ;
- libels or harms people’s reputation, violates people’s legal rights ;
- includes illegal information bounded by law and administrative rules.
Two completely new bans have been added to the nine rules above :
- It is forbidden to encourage illegal gatherings, strikes, etc to create public disorder ;
- It is forbidden to organise activities under illegal social associations or organisations.
Websites that break these new rules will be shut down and those running them will have to pay a fine that could reach 30,000 yuans (about $2,600 or 3,000 euros).
Hat tip to the Blog Herald on this Sina.com story.