stops publishing and shuts off server

A few days ago the server for the translation website,, was down. Today it was confirmed that had been shut down. The Guardian reports:

Yeeyan’s main website, which also publishes other material translated by its members, has also been shut down. No reason has been given. The Guardian is seeking an explanation from the Chinese government about why the site was shut, and when it will be allowed to resume publication.

Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of Guardian News & Media, said: “This is a very disconcerting development. Yeeyan is a wonderful community of mostly volunteer translators who give Chinese web users access to a wide range of content published outside China, including Guardian reporting and commentary.

“We hope this move does not represent an attempt to suppress independent-minded journalism, and that the Chinese authorities can reassure us that Yeeyan and the Guardian will be allowed to resume publication.”

Apart from being a partner with The Guardian, Yeeyan has been around for two and a half years and is well-known for its translation of content from the English press. In an interview with Danwei this year, one of Yeeyan’s founders, Jiamin, talked about its beginnings:

Danwei: How long have you been running the operation, and have you always started with wanting to translate news articles?

Jiamin: Yeeyan is two and half years old now. If counting in the “blog age” (from Jul. 2006 to Dec. 2006), then Yeeyan is three now.

At the very beginning, the articles translated were mainly about Internet technology and start-ups, which reflected the backgrounds and interest of the three founders. As the community grows up, the range of topics becomes wider and wider. Now, there are four major categories: Technology, Culture, Economy, and Other. The first two categories comprise more than 70% of the total content. News is not a separate category yet and is included in the Culture category. We are now exerting more effort to deal with breaking news mainly due to our collaboration with The Guardian. But still, there are a lot more other contents on the site, and we always believe that in-depth and long-lasting contents are most valuable.

Today, well-known Chinese bloggers such as Lao Luo (though only one line) have made posts about Yeeyan being “harmonized.”

An article from Donews, a website about information technology, cites Jiamin’s reaction to Yeeyan’s closure:

Perhaps it’s related to the recent cleansing of mobile phones and the internet, but I didn’t think that it would be taken down so quickly.” As to when the website would be restored, he said, “This won’t be solved in one or two days.”

The Yeeyan Guardian pages displays “Address Not Found” and the original Yeeyan site is also down, but there is a letter of thanks and apology on its front page. A section of it, credited to the Yeeyan team, says:

Due to our errors in handling some of the articles on the website, we went against the relevant regulations; therefore Yeeyan has to temporarily shut off its server, and adjust the relevant content.

As for closing the website without giving notice, and for causing inconvenience, we are deeply sorry.

Please don’t worry too much, we have saved all users’ data. We will solve the problem we face as quickly as possible, and recover the articles and personal information treasured by everyone.

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