Chinese censorship – authorities have shut down 13,000 websites since 2015

Pierluigi Paganini December 30, 2017

China continues to strengthen its online censorship, it has shut down or revoked the licenses of 13,000 websites since 2015 for violating the country’s internet rules.

State media also reported that service providers have closed nearly 10 million internet accounts for “violating service protocol.”

“These moves have a powerful deterrent effect,” Xinhua quoted Wang Shengjun, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), as saying.

Chinese authorities have summoned more than 2,200 websites operators since 2015. According to Xinhua more than 10 million people who refused to register using their real names had internet or other telecoms accounts suspended over the past five years.

Within China, websites must register with authorities and are responsible for “ensuring the legality of any information” that is published on them.

These data confirm the strict control powered by China on the digital lives of its citizens.

According to Freedom House, China is the country with the most restrictive online use policies.


The new Chinese cyber security law gives more power to the Government and enforces new rules especially for those companies that produce software that could be used to circumvent the country’s censorship.

The Great Firewall project already blocked access to more hundreds of the world’s 1,000 top websites, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Dropbox.

Recently the Chinese authorities have sentenced a man to five-and-a-half years in prison for selling a VPN service without the authorization.

Since early this year, the Chinese authorities started banning “unauthorized” VPN services, any company offering such type of service in the country must obtain an appropriate license from the government.

People resident in the country make use of VPN and Proxy services to bypass the censorship implemented by the Great Firewall and access website prohibited by the Government without revealing their actual identity.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – China, censorship)

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