Chinese government has recruited 20,000 scholars to launch its own encyclopedia website by next year. This platform would be different from Wikipedia and its Chinese version Baidu Baike as the digital source will not be allowed for public to write or edit the entries.
The new project, which was approved in 2011, will be entirely written by professionals.
Moreover, China is under pressure to write its own encyclopedia so it can guide public thought, according to a statement by the project s executive editor Yang Muzhi published last month on the website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
China has also regularly blocked overseas sites including Facebook and Twitter, and has periodically blocked Wikipedia s English and Chinese versions.
The aim of digital encyclopedia is to compile 300,000 entries that span science, literature, politics and history is being led by the ruling Party s central propaganda department, which guides public opinion through instructions to China s media, internet companies and publishing industry as well as overseeing the education sector.
Jiang Lijun, senior editor at the Encyclopedia of China Publishing House, said that as Wikipedia s content is generated by users, they can create more entries faster. “But we try to eliminate self-promotion and inaccuracy as much as possible.”
China has more than 730 million internet users, according to official figures.