An annual bloggers’ meeting in China has been cancelled for the first time in its six year history as a result of pressure from the Shanghai Government.
The two day event, due to be held in an office building near Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University had to be called off after both its primary and back-up venues were forced to withdraw their support.
Co-founded in Shanghai in 2005 by blogger, venture capitalist and software architcect, Isaac Mao, the conference has had to move to a different city each year in a cat and mouse game with the authorities. Last year, it was held in a remote cave in Guangdong Province. Unfortunately, with it’s success, numbers have grown and it has been increasingly difficult to keep it ‘under the radar’.
“pressure from relevant department upset the original scheme of this year’s conference, but bloggers who are already in town might still find ways to gather in smaller groups.” Isaac Mao
The cancellation comes at a sensitive time for social media in China. Twitter and Facebook, the most popular social networks in the rest of the world are still blocked by China’s Great Firewall, although, savvy netizens have few difficulties by-passing the restrictions, plus, only last week news broke that a Chinese woman had been sentenced to a year in a labour camp for re-tweeting a satirical tweet.