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

Jean J. Sanders

The information blew up on social media on July 11 right after a couple popular influencer accounts belatedly picked it up. It turned the top rated trending subject matter on Weibo that working day, with people questioning whether or not WPS is infringing on their privateness. Due to the fact then, The Financial Observer, a Chinese publication, has noted that numerous other on-line novelists have experienced their drafts locked for unclear causes in the previous. 

Mitu’s grievance induced a social media dialogue in China about censorship and tech platform responsibility. It has also highlighted the stress in between Chinese users’ expanding consciousness of privacy and tech companies’ obligation to censor on behalf of the federal government. “This is a circumstance the place most likely we are observing that these two points in fact may well collide,” claims Tom Nunlist, an analyst on China’s cyber and info coverage at the Beijing-centered research group Trivium China 

While Mitu’s document has been saved on-line and was beforehand shared with an editor in 2021, she claims she had been the only human being modifying it this calendar year, when it was quickly locked. “The written content is all clean and can even be released on a [literature] internet site, but WPS made the decision it really should be locked. Who gave it the ideal to seem into users’ non-public files and decide what to do with them arbitrarily?” she wrote.

To start with produced in 1989 by the Chinese software company Kingsoft, WPS statements to have 310 million regular end users. It has partly benefited from government grants and contracts as the Chinese federal government appeared to bolster its own companies above international rivals on security grounds.

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