Movie fans in China Thursday welcomed a popular film website being
unblocked by censors, but it was unclear whether the move suggested any
wider relaxation in the country's tightly-controlled media.
viewers discovered that restrictions on the IMDb (Internet Movie
Database) website, which carries movie news and extensive production
details on a huge number of films, had been unexpectedly lifted on
Both IMDb's Chinese- and English-language versions were
blocked in 2010, with many believing Beijing had acted after the site
featured a movie on its homepage which focused on issues considered
"sensitive" by the ruling Communist Party.
"This is really good news," said one blogger on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, reacting on Thursday to the unblocking.
film and broadcast media are tightly controlled in the country, while
the Internet is subject to a range of restrictions known collectively as
the Great Firewall of China.
Authorities in China have displayed mixed signals regarding media censorship in recent months.
Last month, the state's top media regulator said it would expand pre-broadcast censorship to cover television documentaries.
the movie "V for Vendetta", which charts an anarchist uprising against a
totalitarian government in Britain, was aired on state television
shortly before Christmas.