A million-word novel got censored before it was even shared. Now Chinese users want answers.

Maria J. Smith

The information blew up on social media on July 11 following a number of popular influencer accounts belatedly picked it up. It became the best trending subject on Weibo that day, with consumers questioning no matter if WPS is infringing on their privateness. Due to the fact then, The Economic Observer, a Chinese publication, has reported that numerous other on the net novelists have experienced their drafts locked for unclear explanations in the previous. 

Mitu’s criticism activated a social media discussion in China about censorship and tech platform duty. It has also highlighted the rigidity involving Chinese users’ escalating consciousness of privateness and tech companies’ obligation to censor on behalf of the federal government. “This is a situation where by potentially we are seeing that these two items certainly might collide,” claims Tom Nunlist, an analyst on China’s cyber and knowledge coverage at the Beijing-based exploration team Trivium China 

Even though Mitu’s doc has been saved on the internet and was earlier shared with an editor in 2021, she states she had been the only individual editing it this yr, when it was all of a sudden locked. “The articles is all thoroughly clean and can even be released on a [literature] web-site, but WPS determined it ought to be locked. Who gave it the appropriate to seem into users’ non-public files and make a decision what to do with them arbitrarily?” she wrote.

Very first unveiled in 1989 by the Chinese software package organization Kingsoft, WPS promises to have 310 million regular monthly people. It has partly benefited from authorities grants and contracts as the Chinese government appeared to bolster its individual companies over international rivals on safety grounds.

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