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Culture

China to launch state-sponsored Wikipedia rival in 2018

No, you will not be allowed to edit it.

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Wikipedia is available in China, though many articles and pages are blocked.

Screenshot by CNET/Wikipedia

China is building its own version of Wikipedia, with the aid of more than 20,000 scholars who work for the government.

The Chinese rival to the internet's open-source font of knowledge is set to launch in 2018, according to a report Sunday in the South China Morning Post. It will feature more than 300,000 entries and serve as a "Great Wall of culture," according to Yang Muzhi, editor-in-chief of the project. Unlike with Wikipedia, though, volunteers and citizens won't be able to edit entries.

China's censorship laws famously mean its people cannot access the same version of the internet as much of the rest of the world. The government's fractious relationships with many web companies mean that Chinese internet users, in many cases, end up with alternative, China-only services.

Wikipedia is one such victim of censorship rules, with countless articles blocked in China. As a result, the country has been under pressure to produce its own encyclopedia to showcase developments in science and tech and to promote history, heritage, culture and socialist values, according to Yang.