On October 10, 2006, Wikipedia access started opening up in China, having been blocked almost one year. The English language version (en.wp) is widely accessible while the Chinese version (zh.wp) still has spotty access. I’ve written before about how some news reports have not reported this well.
Monday’s New York Times has a story which mentions this blog’s reports on reachability from the PRC that I reported to CNET. (“Chinese Government Relaxes Its Total Ban on Wikipedia,” Noam Cohen, October 16, 2006)
Here’s an update – bloggers and Wikipedians across the PRC have helped me assemble this chart of Wikipedia reachability. As of October 19, 2006, 3pm China local time, this is the rough state of affairs:
China Telecom is the main landline operator, and provider of DSL service. The Chinese Wikipedia is accessible for a great many folks for Telecom, but still blocked for some. China Netcom (DSL provider for many homes) still consistently blocks all access to zh.wp. For the full version which shows results for academic networks, see this chart.
This shows what many Great Firewall observers know already – blocking is not uniform across the country, and depends on specific municipality and ISP.
Nevertheless, this is encouraging and will certainly allow many more contributions to Wikipedia from China users.