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

Margaret R. Servin


The news blew up on social media on July 11 following a number of distinguished influencer accounts belatedly picked it up. It turned the top trending subject on Weibo that day, with buyers questioning irrespective of whether WPS is infringing on their privateness. Because then, The Economic Observer, a Chinese publication, has documented that quite a few other on line novelists have experienced their drafts locked for unclear factors in the previous. 

Mitu’s criticism induced a social media dialogue in China about censorship and tech system obligation. It has also highlighted the pressure between Chinese users’ increasing recognition of privacy and tech companies’ obligation to censor on behalf of the government. “This is a case the place maybe we are seeing that these two matters indeed could collide,” says Tom Nunlist, an analyst on China’s cyber and knowledge coverage at the Beijing-dependent exploration team Trivium China 

Whilst Mitu’s document has been saved on the internet and was previously shared with an editor in 2021, she claims she had been the only person modifying it this 12 months, when it was out of the blue locked. “The content is all clean up and can even be printed on a [literature] website, but WPS decided it should be locked. Who gave it the proper to glance into users’ personal documents and make a decision what to do with them arbitrarily?” she wrote.

Initial produced in 1989 by the Chinese software program enterprise Kingsoft, WPS promises to have 310 million month-to-month people. It has partly benefited from government grants and contracts as the Chinese governing administration appeared to bolster its possess firms in excess of overseas rivals on stability grounds.


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