China Stops Censoring the Web!

Just kidding. But China is loosening the reigns on censorship in one small city for the next few days! Baby steps, one supposes.

Today marks the start of China’s three day World Internet Conference, hosted in the small and decidedly un-techie city of Wuzhen. China – which, despite heavy Internet censorship and regulation, makes up a sizable chunk of the world’s total Internet users – wants a seat at the global Internet governance table, and hosting this conference aims to be the first step. This, not so surprisingly, is coming shortly after the immense success of Allibaba’s recent IPO (the e-commerce company has been called “China’s Amazon”). It will likely take more than a successful site and a temporary censorship lift (in a city with reportedly spotty service, no less) for China to gain the trust of the Internet powers that be. But they’ve accomplished more with less to go on, so my money’s on China. And if Allibaba’s IPO is any indication, so is everyone else’s. Read more here.