China is recruiting 20,000 people to write its own Wikipedia

 at VICE News: “The Chinese government is recruiting 20,000 people to create an online encyclopedia that will be the country’s own, China-centric version of Wikipedia, or as one official put it, like “a Great Wall of culture.”

Known as the “Chinese Encyclopedia,” the country’s national encyclopedia will go online for the first time in 2018, and the government has employed tens of thousands of scholars from universities and research institutes who will contribute articles in more than 100 disciplines. The end result will be a knowledge base with more than 300,000 entries, each of which will be about 1,000 words long.

“The Chinese Encyclopaedia is not a book, but a Great Wall of culture,” Yang Muzhi, the editor-in-chief of the project and the chairman of the Book and Periodicals Distribution Association of China, said. He added that China was under pressure from the international community to produce an encyclopedia that will “guide and lead the public and society.”

The need for an online reference encyclopedia is in part a result of the Chinese government blocking access to Wikipedia. Chinese internet companies like Baidu and Qihoo 360 operate their own online encyclopedias, but none are capable of matching Wikipedia in terms of scale and breadth of information.

The aim of the new version of the Chinese encyclopedia is to showcase China’s latest science and technology developments, promote historical heritage, increase cultural soft power, and strengthen the core values of socialism, according to Yang, who stressed that the goal isn’t to mimic Wikipedia: “We have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world. Our goal is not to catch up, but overtake.”…(More)”