"November 9, 2006 saw the complete unblocking of Wikipedia in China, resulting in a four-fold increase in new user registrations. Though it is still subject to URL- and page-level keyword blocking, the vast majority of the site is freely accessible.
Why was it finally unblocked? In the end, I believe consensus among the Chinese authorities determined the benefits of Wikipedia far outweigh the risks, and signals an understanding of the benefits of a read-write Wikipedia.
The complete argument goes like this: With Wikipedia blocked, China suffers because its ranks of knowledge workers cannot access the top reference site in the world, and the world suffers from not having China's expertise and input in Wikipedia. This is Wikipedia as the ultimate implementation of "read-write" culture, and provides both an economic and cultural incentive for China to open participation to Chinese netizens.
And in the end, if you think about it, doesn't it make complete sense that the People's Republic of China would embrace the people's encyclopedia of Wikipedia?
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Topics in the premiere episode: China's unblocking of Wikipedia, software robots, Tor and Wikipedia, a way to "Spotlight" articles and new features like Category browsing. Folks are encouraged to propose topics and leave feedback at the site."