China has employed tens of thousands of scholars to write an internet version of its national encyclopaedia, which will go online next year to compete against Wikipedia.
The third edition of the Chinese Encyclopaedia is currently China’s largest publication project, with more than 20,000 authors from universities and research institutes contributing to articles in more than 100 disciplines.
Designed to be the nation’s first digital book of “everything”, it will feature more than 300,000 entries, each about 1,000 words long, making it twice as large as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and about the same size as the Chinese-language version of Wikipedia.
“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, told senior scientists at a meeting at the headquarters of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Beijing on April 12, according to a report on the academy’s website the next day.
Access to Wikipedia is partially banned on the Chinese mainland. Most entries on science and technology can be read, but a search for sensitive keywords such as “Dalai Lama” and “Xi Jinping” will result in the connection to the server being lost.
Yang told the meeting China was under international pressure and felt an urgent need to produce its own encyclopaedia to “guide and lead the public and society”…. see more