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China has blocked the website of an iPad magazine called Sun Affairs edited by media rebels Chang Ping and Wen Yunchao. The site has lost its mainland audience.
To the government, Chang has form. Earlier this year his controversial commentary got him sacked from the county’s most liberal newspaper company, the Southern Group. Officials are refusing to grant him the visa that would enable him to join a new venture at Sun TV in Hong Kong.
China Media Project (CMP) reported that he was “was offered a position…and filed a visa application under Hong Kong’s Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals.” Eight months later, his application has still not been granted. Chang told Southern Media, “I have asked them [the Immigration Department] about it, and they simply say that [my application] is under review.”
The fact that Chang Ping is being denied the opportunity to leave the mainland is an indicator of the worsening environment for journalists, something that Chang Ping has reflected in a blog post, where he writes:
Some people have talked about the loosening up of the media, but when I ask writers to write explaining this… they ask me to delete their stories once they have been used, and forbid me from sending them a cheque, so the stories can’t be traced to them. What a contrast this is to the supposed loosening up… [The media atmosphere] has tightened up.