Our first piece of news, regretfully, is that access to www.steelonthenet.com
appears to have been blocked in China. Repeated reports from visitors attempting to access the site from servers in Shanghai and Beijing in recent weeks indicate a persistent denial of access problem that is not evident elsewhere in the world. We think that these access restrictions commenced around April 2005.
Although control of the internet in China is a phenomenon that has been widely reported on in the last few years, most recent assessments have suggested a censorship trend towards more targeted internet filtering, focused in the main on Taiwanese independence movements, human rights activists and other political opponents.
But steelonthenet.com is a knowledge-sharing information portal that generates revenue from industry research and consultancy support. The business has no political agenda. Indeed, its success is predicated on its commercial focus and on the supply of timely and objective news reports from distinct and independent sources.
So we don't think that the current prohibition of www.steelonthenet.com that we're seeing is an early signal of some broader censorship by the Chinese authorities. Instead, we feel it's probably a temporary consequence of mistaken or perhaps just overzealous blocking...