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Wary of Egypt ­nrest, China Censors Web

By The New York Times

February 1, 2011

In another era, China’s leaders might have been content to let discussion of the protests in Egypt float around among private citizens, then fizzle out.

But challenges in recent years to authoritarian governments around the globe and violent uprisings in parts of China itself have made Chinese officials increasingly wary of leaving such talk unchecked, especially on the Internet, the medium some officials see as central to fanning the flames of unrest.

So the arbiters of speech sprang into action over the weekend. Sina.com and Netease.com—two of the nation’s biggest online portals—blocked keyword searches of the word "Egypt," though the mass protests were being discussed on some Internet chat rooms on Monday. Searching for "Egypt" has also been blocked on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

From The New York Times
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