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A million-word novel got censored before it was even shared. Now Chinese users want answers.

The news blew up on social media on July 11 after a couple prominent influencer accounts belatedly picked it up. It grew to become the major trending matter on Weibo that working day, with buyers questioning regardless of whether WPS is infringing on their privacy. Since then, The Financial Observer, a Chinese publication, has documented that many other on the internet novelists have experienced their drafts locked for unclear good reasons in the earlier. 

Mitu’s complaint triggered a social media dialogue in China about censorship and tech platform responsibility. It has also highlighted the rigidity involving Chinese users’ expanding consciousness of privacy and tech companies’ obligation to censor on behalf of the government. “This is a circumstance where by maybe we are observing that these two matters certainly might collide,” claims Tom Nunlist, an analyst on China’s cyber and knowledge plan at the Beijing-dependent study group Trivium China 

While Mitu’s document has been saved on line and was earlier shared with an editor in 2021, she states she experienced been the only individual enhancing it this yr, when it was abruptly locked. “The content material is all clear and can even be published on a [literature] internet site, but WPS made the decision it must be locked. Who gave it the correct to look into users’ private documents and make your mind up what to do with them arbitrarily?” she wrote.

First produced in 1989 by the Chinese software package corporation Kingsoft, WPS promises to have 310 million month-to-month consumers. It has partly benefited from governing administration grants and contracts as the Chinese federal government looked to bolster its individual corporations over international rivals on protection grounds.