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Bribery websites up and running

(China Daily)

09:06, August 09, 2011

Websites that reveal bribery staged a quiet comeback in China after ending a one-month limbo due to uncertainties about their legal status.

The websites, calling themselves various combinations of names to express the idea of "I-made-a-bribe", resumed online services quietly in mid-July after getting permission to register with the Internet regulatory authorities.

"I was a little surprised that its registration could be approved," said Xiaoxiaosheng, founder of one of the first bribery-exposing websites, who wanted to keep his website low-key and only be identified by his online nickname.

Chinese laws require all Internet content providers in China to register the websites they run with the local communication management bureaus. Websites that fail to get permission from the authorities will be forced offline.

Xiaoxiaosheng said he did not have too much hope for approval after the site was forced to shut down in late June because of the lack of that very registration.

The website was allowed to register with the Internet regulator on July 14, almost a month after its launch.

Chen Hong, founder of a similar website, said his site acquired its registration permission on June 24.

In mid-June, "I-made-a bribe" websites burgeoned in China, almost all inspired by an Indian website calling itself "I-paid-a-bribe".

Like the Indian website, the Chinese sites provided an online space for Internet users to share their experiences of giving bribes in daily life.

Wu Yuliang, deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said on July 22 that the websites should abide by Chinese laws regulating the Internet.

When his website reopened to netizens complaining about pervasive bribery in China, Chen renamed his site "Transparent China" and started to look for volunteers to help run it.

Chen said he was also considering a revamp of his website to prevent involvement in defamation charges.


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