Wales: Hudong not a rival

Updated: 2011-03-04 10:28

(China Daily European Weekly)

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Wales: Hudong not a rival

Jimmy Wales says Wikipedia has good ties
with the
government. Provided to China Daily

When Wikipedia's founder Jimmy Wales arrived in China in 2009, Pan Haidong invited him to visit his office and meet his team. Responding to Pan's comment that he was a Wikipedia "copycat", Wales said it was "quite an honor".

But he highlighted the differences between the two - is commercially driven while Wikipedia is entirely "a charitable mission".

"What he (Pan) is doing is fine, but we are different. I wouldn't consider us competitors or counterparts at all," Wales says.

Wikipedia was set up in 2001 and has become the fifth most-popular site in the world.

It has only 50 full-time staff members and is largely dependent on contributors.

Wales says he will stick to its nonprofit and charitable mission, which means the site won't run ads and is dependent on donations. In January, it raised $16 million (11.5 million euros).

Currently, Wikipedia is planning to open its first overseas office in India but says it is difficult to open an office in China with the current government regulations on the Internet.

"It's (setting up an office in China) not in sight at this point, not until they (the government) change the policy. But I am sure they will - I just think it's a matter of time," Wales says, adding that Wikipedia has a "good relationship" with the State Council Information Office, the body tasked with Internet regulations.

He wants to increase the participation in the Chinese Wikipedia community but says he won't agree to filter certain search results and will try to find "middle ground" with the government.


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