Breaking: China closing down all entertainment web sites and television programming to run only coverage of the 7.8 earthquake

May 18, 2008

According to tweets from Marc van der Chijs, CEO of Spill Group Asia and Cofounder of, China has issued orders that all entertainment web sites and regular television programming be shut down completely for the next 3 days. Only web sites covering the recent tragic 7.8 magnitude earthquake and television stations broadcasting CCTV earthquake programming will be allowed to remain live.

About an hour ago, van der Chijs sent the first Twitter message about the close down, then followed up with several more wondering why there was no coverage of the breaking news yet. Twitter continues to solidify its growing place as a way to find out breaking news from your friends and colleagues, before it reaches mainstream sites like Reuters.

As awareness of van der Chijs tweets is spreading, people like Scoble are picking up the alert and passing it along the Twitter network. More and more people are chiming in from Asia with links to official announcements of the close down like this one.

With social media applications like Twitter available to drive news coverage, the possibilities for reaching everyone with vital information grow exponentially. At the same time, more restrictive governments are finding themselves in a tough spot, as the web proves difficult to control, like a many headed hydra creating a vast army of informed people all over the world, willing to lend a hand to those in need as soon as they see their struggle go across the screen, or willing to band together and reach common goals.

If you do Twitter, follow me and @ me to let me know to add you. If you don’t Twitter yet, you should. I do. It has become an indispensable source of contacts, friendships and vital information for me. How will Twitter work for you?

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8 Responses to “Breaking: China closing down all entertainment web sites and television programming to run only coverage of the 7.8 earthquake”

  1. dfgdfgdfgf:

    Great read.

  2. Wukong: is still up and running.
    There may be no coverage because it’s a bogus story.

  3. Alex Miller:

    Well, another great reason not to beleive everything that gets twittered. “great read” except, not entirely factual. I am in china. Chinese entertainment websites are still up. Chinese tv is still boring.

  4. Leslie Poston:

    I have put out feelers for the English version of the Chinese source story, as well as any other info. I’ll keep you all posted when I hear back.

  5. Leslie Poston:

    Here is coverage on the three days of mourning from here in the States:,0,2589358.story

    I also received confirmation from one of the CN human rights reps that the internet and television shut down is VOLUNTARY and OPTIONAL as part of the the three day mourning period, some that was lost in translation earlier. :)

    Gaming sites will be off for three days, all others will only be required to carry a banner announcing the three day mourning period if they choose not to go dark.

  6. Leslie Poston:

    Here are more sources of the story about the entertainment site blackout:

  7. Leslie Poston:

    and this one:

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