The New York Times Blocked in China

nytimeschina11 <EM>The New York Times</EM> Blocked in China The Chinese government blocked The New York Times website after the paper published an article about prime minister Wen Jiabao’s family’s hidden fortune, the Times reported.

The English- and Chinese-language websites went down just a couple hours after the story went up on Friday morning there. When the article was mentioned on the BBC, the station suddenly went black, tweeted Louisa Lim, NPR’s Beijing correspondent. The topic has been banned from Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter. 

“We hope that full access is restored shortly, and we have asked the Chinese authorities to ensure that our readers in China can continue to enjoy New York Times journalism,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said in a statement. “China is an increasingly open society, with increasingly sophisticated media, and the response to our site suggests that the Times can play an important role in the government’s efforts to raise the quality of journalism available to the Chinese people.”

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin ordered an end to blocking of The New York Times site in August 2001. Since then, it’s been mostly accessible.

But after Bloomberg  published an article about Vice President Xi Jinping last June, the website had frequent problems.

Full Times statement below:

We are disappointed to receive reports that readers of The New York Times in mainland China are having difficulty accessing our English and Chinese websites. We hope that full access is restored shortly, and we have asked the Chinese authorities to ensure that our readers in China can continue to enjoy New York Times journalism. As we have said from the beginning, our goal in launching this Web site was to bring New York Times journalism to China and since June, we have seen great interest in that journalism from China’s increasingly global citizens.  China is an increasingly open society, with increasingly sophisticated media, and the response to our site suggests that The Times can play an important role in the government’s efforts to raise the quality of journalism available to the Chinese people.

We will continue to report and translate stories applying the same journalistic standards that are upheld across The New York Times.