When you want to find out something on the internet, whether it be about a country, a person, technology, a company, a song, a movie, and so on, there’s a good chance you might default to Wikipedia for that information. It is so easily and widely available that we almost take it for granted.
However over in China, it’s a different story as the country has banned access to the service. This is also why it doesn’t really come as a surprise to learn that China has since announced their own initiative to build their own Wikipedia which they are planning for it to go live in 2018. Dubbed the “Chinese Encyclopedia”, this will see the recruitment of 20,000 people to help build up the website with plans for 300,000 entries at the start.
Like we said this move doesn’t really come as a surprise. China has long launched their own take on internet services, such as how Youku is China’s version of YouTube, Weibo would be China’s Twitter, and Baidu would be China’s answer to Google. The Chinese Encyclopedia will be led by editor Yang Muzhi who has described it as a Great Wall of culture.
According to Muzhi, he claims that the goal isn’t to mimic Wikipedia but to improve on it, “We have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world. Our goal is not to catch up, but overtake.”