In what appears to be a rather staggering discovery, it has been revealed that the number of websites based in China has decreased by over 40 per cent within only one year.
The report was published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and it claims that there were about 1.91 million websites in China’s cyberspace at the end of last year, meaning almost a 41 per cent drop compared to the number a year earlier.
"The number of interactive websites, including online forums, has plummeted," Wu Qiang, an internet analyst at Tsinghua University, stated to the South China Morning Post.
"The drop in numbers was effective in controlling speech. Online forums and bulletin boards are much less active than before," he added.
Though the authors of the report claim that the decline in the number of websites was primarily caused by the economic slow down and the PRC government’s crack down on porn and spam websites, certain members of the international community have looked at the matter as showing a slightly more worrying trend.
According to many analysts, the abnormal decrease in the number of websites in the country could possibly be the result of the government’s draconian web censorship policies.