wordpress in chinaChina has the highest number of Internet users in the world along with a booming economy and that explains why American web companies like Yahoo, Google and Microsoft co-operate wholeheartedly with the Chinese government in implementing internet censorship there.

For instance, Google shows a different set of search results in China to keep the communists happy, Microsoft is known to block blog entries that contain banned keywords while Yahoo has been accused of helping Beijing arrest an innocent journalist by providing details of his personal email account.

While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies – US Congress to Yahoo.

But there are exceptions.

Automattic, the company behind the popular WordPress blogging software, faced a similar moral dilemma in 2006 when China suddenly blocked access to all WordPress.com blogs inside the mainland.

Matt told AFP that ban on WordPress in China could have been lifted had he agreed to block certain words or topics and give up information to the Chinese communist government about [WordPress] users.

I started thinking about the DNA of the company. That sort of company is not one I would wake up every day and feel passionate about working in.

Unlike other giants, WordPress took a more ethical stand refusing to comply with the Chinese diktats and WP blogs therefore still remain blocked in China. The situation is likely to stay the same forever unless China relaxes their censorship laws which again sounds like a remote possibility.

Also see: How is WordPress Making Money

Some workarounds

The advantage with blogs is that they all provide RSS feeds so you can easily read any blog using a web based feed readers even if the main WordPress site is blocked.

In case of WordPress blogs, you can append the string ".nyud.net" to the blog URL and it should open just fine. For instance, if the main blog is located at labnol.wordpress.com, you can access a mirror image of this site from labnol.wordpress.com.nyud.net. If that doesn’t solve the problem, here are some more ways to access blocked sites.

WordPress.com blogs now support "post by email" so Chinese bloggers can publish new content on WordPress blogs using any of the email programs.