China criticised during web conference

On the opening of its inaugural world Internet seminar, China came in for severe criticism about the way it treats online news providers.

With the Asian country calling for greater controls in cyberspace, rights campaigners have derided the way it is trying to control web use.

Accounting for around 25% of the world’s internet users, China is also one of the countries to have a sophisticated control and censorship policy in place.

The director of the information office that controls online access in the nation, however, has said the Internet should be more open, but must work alongside good governance. Lu Wei addressed the start of the conference, stating:

“We will strengthen communications and seek common ground while resolving differences to establish a multilateral, democratic and transparent international internet governance system.”

He went on to call on the conference attendees to join the effort to build a more “peaceful”, “open” and “safe” online space.

Online openness campaigners have criticised the calls, however. With China routinely blocking even the most popular news feed providers, such as Twitter and Facebook, Amnesty International released a statement that read:

“Internet freedom is under attack by governments across the world. Now China appears eager to promote its own domestic internet rules as a model for global regulation.”

The Cyberspace Administration of China hosted conference, which ended on Friday, November 21st, was attended by Internet giants such as Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, with China relaxing its controls over access to the likes of Facebook and Google for the period.

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