China blocks access to NYT portal

The New York Times reports that China blocked access to its Chinese-language website on Friday following the publication of an article claiming that members of Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s family hold more than $2.7 billion in assets.

Access to the site was blocked soon after the article was published, the newspaper said. Later, access to the English-language site gradually began to be blocked. The controversial article claims that much of this wealth was acquired since Wen became a member of China’s ruling elite. It does not present any evidence that the prime minister is directly involved in his relatives’ business dealings.

Govt blocking PM name

The New York Times said the government was also blocking attempts to mention the prime minister or the newspaper on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging service. “We hope that full access is restored shortly, and we will ask the Chinese authorities to ensure that our readers in China can continue to enjoy New York Times journalism,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said, adding that the newspaper’s Chinese-language website has attracted “great interest” in China.

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