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This article was published on November 22, 2010

    China bloggers’ meeting cancelled after government pressure

    China bloggers’ meeting cancelled after government pressure
    Fraser Smith
    Story by

    Fraser Smith

    Fraser Smith is an IT consultant based in Shanghai, China. He has over 15 years experience in the media industry working with many major ne Fraser Smith is an IT consultant based in Shanghai, China. He has over 15 years experience in the media industry working with many major news publishers. He is also co-owner and editor of edexpat.com the educational resource for international families, teachers and schools. You can contact Fraser via Twitter by following @FrasSmith.

    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.