BEIJING – One of China’s most popular bloggers announced Tuesday he was forced to shut down his freewheeling print magazine after just one issue because government officials appear to have blocked the printing of any new editions.
Han Han, a novelist and race car driver, has amassed a huge readership with his sly online critiques of China’s social problems and hoped to tap that audience with an arts and literature magazine, Party. Han wrote in a blog post that it appeared that the government was behind the closure, but he was unsure which department and why they had objected to the magazine.
China’s media is tightly controlled by the government, which censors, fines, or shuts down publications seen to be treading on politically sensitive issues. But Han wrote that he didn’t think China’s news or propaganda officials objected to the magazine and hinted that a personal grudge rather than content may have been a factor. He said his publisher and other partners had so far refused to explain.
“Perhaps it’s because there are too many relevant people in too many relevant departments,” Han wrote, using phrases that refer broadly to Chinese bureaucrats and government institutions. “So many people have the ability to turn a piece of literature and art into a relic. I myself don’t know exactly what has happened or what friend I may have insulted.” The first issue of Party came out in July, featuring poetry, essays, and part of an upcoming novel by Han titled “I Want to Have a Talk With The World.” It was a top seller on Amazon.com’s Chinese language retail site and sold 1.5 million copies, Han said – Yahoonews