Censorship in China

Censorship in the People's Republic of China (PRC) is implemented or mandated by the PRC's ruling party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The government censors content for mainly political reasons, such as curtailing political opposition, and censoring events unfavorable to the CCP, such as the Tiananmen square massacre, but also to maintain its control over the populace. Since Xi Jinping became the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (de facto paramount leader) in 2012, censorship has been "significantly stepped up".[1]

The government has censorship over all media capable of reaching a wide audience. This includes television, print media, radio, film, theater, text messaging, instant messaging, video games, literature, and the Internet. The Chinese government asserts that it has the legal right to control the Internet's content within their territory and that their censorship rules do not infringe on their citizens' right to free speech.[2] Chinese officials have access to uncensored information via an internal document system.

Reporters Without Borders ranks China's freedom of press situation as "very serious", the worst ranking on their five-point scale.[3] In August 2012, the OpenNet Initiative classified Internet censorship in China as "pervasive" in the political and conflict/security areas and "substantial" in the social and Internet tools areas, the two most extensive classifications of the five they use.[4] Freedom House, a US-backed NGO, ranks the Chinese press as "not free", the worst possible ranking, saying that "state control over the news media in China is achieved through a complex combination of party monitoring of news content, legal restrictions on journalists, and financial incentives for self-censorship,"[5] and an increasing practice of "cyber-disappearance" of material written by or about activist bloggers.[6]

Other views suggest that Chinese businesses such as Baidu, Tencent and Alibaba, some of the world's largest internet enterprises, have benefited from the way China blocked international rivals from the domestic market.[7]