China closes local online encyclopedia

A Chinese online encyclopedia has closed down due to government pressure as China continues to crack down on Internet information it sees as dangerous, an international rights group, quoted in an AFP report, said.

e-Wiki, a collaborative Internet encyclopedia modeled on the hugely successful Wikipedia, closed itself down in late July, a statement from Reporters Without Borders, quoted by AFP, said.

The AFP report said e-Wiki decided to close under government pressure after it called Taiwan the "Republic of China" and posted information on James Lung, a Hong Kong activist who was close to the banned Falungong movement.

Taiwan, which China regarded as a renegade province awaiting reunification, and Falungong were two extremely sensitive issues for the nation's Communist Party rulers, the report said.

A notice on e-Wiki's now otherwise non-functioning Web site appeared to confirm the media watchdog's assertions, the report said.

Wikipedia had been blocked in China since late 2005, although a similar but heavily censored online encyclopedia was launched by popular Chinese web portal Baidu this year, the AFP report further said.