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China Is Creating Its Own Wikipedia By Hiring 20,000 Scholars To Write

China is making its own version of Wikipedia: The Chinese Encyclopedia. The online source will have about 300,000 entries around 1,000 words.

According to the South China Morning Post, the third edition of the Chinese Encyclopaedia is going to be “the nation’s first digital book of ‘everything”. The digital source is not allowed for public to write or edit the entries. Thus, the government has hired over 20,000 scholars working on Chinese Encyclopaedia. The scholars on the editorial team want the focus to be on the needs of the 21st century.

Yang Muzhi, Editor-in-chief, at a meeting of senior scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in April, said:

The Chinese Encyclopaedia is a “Great Wall of culture”. It’s a tool for the general reader to learn every day, and it’s deeply influential.

The circumstances we’re in dictate that China must write its own encyclopaedia, and to come from behind, to overtake others, we need to understand the complexities of compiling our own encyclopaedia. We have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world. Our goal is not to catch up, but overtake.

Muzhi also states that the encyclopedia targets promoting the country’s scientific and technological developments, China’s historical heritage, and strengthen the values of socialism. With 720 million internet users, China has the world’s largest online population but unfortunately, strict censorship laws severely limit what people can access.

The digital source will be launching in 2018 and the government-run site will have over 300,000 entries.

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