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China to launch own version of Wikipedia

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, May 4, 2017  /  07:01 am
China to launch own version of Wikipedia

China has announced plans to move its national encyclopedia, titled the Encyclopedia of China, onto the web by 2018. (Shutterstock/File)

China has announced plans to move its national encyclopedia, titled the Encyclopedia of China, onto the web by 2018.

The online edition will put them in direct competition with Wikipedia, which is available in China, though some content is blocked.

But unlike Wikipedia, China’s encyclopedia will not be written and edited by volunteers, but instead by specially selected scholars from state-run universities.

Officials have stated that over 20,000 participants have been selected.

The encyclopedia will be made up of 300,000 entries at 1,000 words each.

According to the project’s editor-in-chief, Yang Muzhi, the Encyclopedia of China "is not a book, but a Great Wall of culture.”

Read also: Wikipedia co-founder fights fake news with Wikitribune

Yang has acknowledged that Wikipedia is a competitor.

He also said China was facing international pressure to produce its own platform to assist "the public and society”.

First published in paper form in 1993, the Encyclopedia of China has faced criticism for omitting or distorting sections of history for political purposes.

Some of the content currently blocked on Wikipedia in China includes topics surrounding the Dalai Lama and President Xi Jinping. (sul/kes)