ibribery.com, where Chinese could go and report incidents of bribery, has been shut down by the authorities. Chen Hong started the website after seeing a similar idea in India. It got 200,000 unique visitors in two weeks before censors banned users inside China from accessing it. Chen closed the website over the weekend.
Copycat websites like 522phone.com and wohuixingle.info also went up, but they’ve been closed too.
The AP tried calling the government ministries that oversee the internet, but got nothing. But the government still wants people to know they’re concerned with the bribes its people are asking for. Wu Yuliang, a vice chair of the CP’s anti-corruption agency said that such websites are valuable, but should operate within the law. “I’m sure [the authorities] are worried that the site will get out of control without proper monitoring and create havoc,” he said. He said he would look into allowing such sites to operate again (they didn’t know before?)
This comes just as the CPC promises more inspections and supervision of officials to stop corruption (evidently help from citizens is not wanted). Xinhua quotes Wu Yuliang at the same news conference saying “Widespread corruption is standing in the way of economic development.”
He also addressed the charge that top Chinese officials had moved 800 billion yuan out of the country since the 1990s. He said the figure was incorrect, but didn’t give any other explanation. Maybe the staff excuse-writers are out of ideas.
By Robert O’Connor