April 21, 2010
Sometime in early April of this year, the website for NGOCN was shut down. I profiled one of the founders of NGOCN, Lu Fei, in an earlier blog. NGOCN was established in 2005-2006 in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, and serves as an information platform for NGOs. It also started to offer capacity building training to NGOs, mainly those located in southwestern China (Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou). It appears that only the website has been affected up to now. NGOCN still operates, maintains a blog, and sends out newsletters on a regular basis, msot recently about NGO participation in the Yushu earthquake in Qinghai.
There seem to be several reasons for the closing down of NGOCN’s website. One has to do with a national trend to reregister websites and blogs in China. If this is the main reason, then the closing of NGOCN’s website will most likely be temporary and we can expect it to resume in the near future. Another reason that has been mentioned is that NGOCN was involved in rallying NGOs to participate in drought-relief activities in Yunnan. If this is the real reason, then NGOCN may have a bigger problem on their hands.
I called the director of NGOCN to ask her about the situation, but she didn’t want to talk about it over the phone, suggesting that the reasons for the shutdown were sensitive, but she did say that the shutdown was temporary and she seemed quite confident that their website would be back up soon.