Unauthorized online translation of foreign media news shut down

Source:Global Times Published: 2009-12-7 1:26:52

By Xuyang Jingjing

Yeeyan.com, a community translation website that provides translations of foreign media content for free, was shut down last week for violating Internet regulations.

"Basically we are not qualified to publish news information related to politics, the military and economy, according to Internet news information regulations," Chen Haozhi, the president of Yeeyan, told the Global Times. "It's not because of any particular article. It's just that we are not qualified."

The Internet News Information Service Regulations released in 2005 specifies the requirements for organizations that are allowed to publish political, military and economic news content. The requirements include registration capital and staff qualifications.

"It is not clear when our site can get back online," Chen said, adding that they are removing some of the content at the moment. "But actually it won't affect us that much, because 90 percent of our content isn't news-related."

"We'll apply for information release qualifications and eventually the qualification to run news content," Chen said, "We hope our site can be reopened this year or early next year."

Set up in 2006 by three Chinese engineers, yeeyan.com is a popular platform. Anyone can post their translations and comment on others' work. The website cooperates with foreign media including the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and Readers' Digest, by translating their articles into Chinese.

The website became inaccessible last Monday. A notice on the website read, "We've encountered some technical problems. Our tech team is working on it. Sorry for the inconvenience."

Early Friday, the notice changed to a "Letter to Yeeyan users.""Due to some misjudgments in dealing with the articles on our website, we have violated relevant regulations and have to temporarily shut off the server," the letter said.

Net users have posted on discussion boards about the shutdown, and many said they were disappointed and sorry.

As to whether these developments will damage the website's cooperation with the Guardian, Chen said, "We've explained the situation to them and the Guardian has been very understanding." Chen said that the problem in this case lies with Yeeyan. "But it seems unlikely that the translation service for the Guardian will resume in the near future."

The Guardian is currently seeking an explanation from the Chinese government. Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief, said in an article on guardian.co.uk that the situation is "very disconcerting", and that he hopes it will be allowed to reopen.

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