China is planning to build their own version of Wikipedia and plans to hire more than 20,000 people to work on the project.
Given China’s strict internet policies, Wikipedia is banned in China. However, the country is developing their own alternative based on the demand for a public online encyclopedia by creating something similar and most likely government approved. It will be known as the “Chinese Encyclopedia,” and is scheduled to go live for the first time on 2018.
According to Vice, the government is looking on hiring thousands of people from research institutes and universities to contribute on the “Chinese Encyclopedia.” So far, the “digital book” plans to contain more than 100 disciplines and feature more than 300,000 entries.
Yang Muzhi, editor-in-chief and chairman of the Book and Periodicals Distribution in China, said the country was pressured to create this “Great Wall of Culture” that will “guide and lead the public and society.”
South China Morning Post reported that the project was approved by China’s cabinet back in 2011 but was only started recently. At a meeting that occurred on April 12 at the Beijing headquarters of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS president Ban Chunli said that the “Chinese Encyclopedia” will cover the country’s historical heritage, culture, power, values, and the latest developments in science and technology.
And when asked about their edge when it comes to their biggest competitor, Wikipedia, Yang said:
“But we have the biggest, most high-quality author team in the world … our goal is not to catch up, but overtake.”