China compiles its own Wikipedia, but public can’t edit it

Andy Wong, Associated Press

A Chinese man walks by a cabinets displaying Chinese encyclopedias at a book store in Beijing, Thursday, May 4, 2017. China is compiling a free online encyclopedia to rival Wikipedia, but it will likely only give Beijing’s official version of sensitive historical events, and the public won’t be able to write or edit it.

BEIJING — It’ll be free. It’ll be uniquely Chinese. It’ll be an online encyclopedia to rival Wikipedia — but without the participation of the public. And don’t expect entries on “Tiananmen Square 1989” or “Falun Gong spiritual group” to come up in your searches, either.

Scholars and experts hand-picked by Beijing to work on the project say only they will be able to make entries — the latest example of the Chinese government’s efforts to control information available on the internet.

The scholars say truth is their guiding light, and their editing and review process is a rigorous one. If there is a difference of opinion, a committee should figure it out, said Zhang Baichun, chief editor of the history of science and technology section.

“Of course, science does not come from democratic votes, to convince…

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