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Continuing Shutdown and Blocks of Mongolian Internet Sites by Chinese Government

Sep 18, 2009
New York


Mongol Ger Association ( has been shutdown by the Chinese authorities.



As China intensifies its surveillance over the Internet in preparation for one of the country’s most sensitive holidays, October 1, the National Holiday, Southern (Inner) Mongolia’s three popular Internet sites, namely Mongol Ger Association (, Mongol People Chat Room (MGLhun), and Mongolian People (, have been shutdown and one website, Home Place of Mongolia ( ), has been blocked by the Chinese authorities since September 9 for discussing issues related to the ethnic problems of Mongolian people in China.

Two of the four sites were given the authorities’ request of “bei an” as the reason for the shutdown. “bei an” is an Internet surveillance policy by the Chinese authorities adopted for screening and registering all internet sites hosted in China under which owners must file official records with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China ICP/IP Address Domain Name Record Keeping and Administration System.

Personal information on the site owners including their full name, ethnicity, organizational affiliation, age, address, contact number, photo copy of ID card and site registration information including domain name, IP address and web hosting company’s contact must be submitted to the ICP/IP Address Domain Name Record Keeping and Administration System in order to get an approval to run the site.

The remaining two Internet sites were given no reason as to why they were shutdown.


Mongol Ger Association (

A message posted on the Mongol Ger Association states that “due to an unusual event of ‘bei an’ process, the site will be closed for 20 days during the National Holiday”. An administrator of the site nicknamed Ereh-Chulee stated in a communication sent to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center that the Mongol Ger Association did actually go through all necessary screening and record filing processes and obtained the required approval to run the site several years ago. Ereh-Chulee suggested that the true reason of the shutdown is not the paper work issue but the increasingly sensitive ethnic problem as the Chinese National Holiday approaches.

The Mongol Ger Association, as one of the most popular Mongolian intellectuals’ Internet gathering places, has survived the Chinese authorities’ waves of Internet crackdowns since 7 years ago with its relatively neutral contents up until recently. With more than 3000 permanent members and a total hit of nearly1.6 million, the Mongol Ger Association has been very active recently in promoting Mongolian language and advocating indigenous Mongolian peoples’ legal rights through extensive discussions about the current problems the Mongolian people are facing in China. Human rights and indigenous rights issues including political prisoners, arbitrary detentions, indigenous Mongolians’ rights to access their land and other resources, political activities of the Southern Mongolian exile communities, as well as news and discussions regarding the independent country of Mongolia are the main coverage of the site.

Worried by the increasing popularity and active discussion of sensitive issues on the site, the Chinese authorities detained the site owner Sodmongol on June 13 this year to question him about the site activities (see ). According to the communication from Ereh-Chulee, recently the Mongol Ger Association was shutdown several times briefly by the Chinese authorities for posting some “unhealthy contents” including the Chinese authorities’ own verdict on the prominent political prisoner Hada’s trial. It was allowed to reopen after the removal of those “unhealthy contents”.

“It is uncertain that our site will be allowed to reopen after the Chinese National Holiday. We may expect a permanent shutdown of the site and a possible accusation against the owner and the administrators of our site”  Sodmongol stated in a communication to his colleague.


Mongol People Chat Room (MGLhun)


Mongol People Chat Room (MGLhun) has been shutdown while many Chinese chat rooms are still available on the same host.



The Mongol People Chat Room, registered with a chat room ID of MGLhun, was a voice chat room hosted by the Xin Lang Net ( using its SINA UC Chat Room software. Unlike many other commonly used web chat rooms, UC voice chat software does not show URLs of the chat rooms. Instead it gives a path to users to access their chat rooms. The path of the Mongol People Chat Room was:

新浪网 —— UC插件 —— 聊天大厅 —— 合作专区 —— VIP温馨情感 —— 温馨驿站(网通)—— MGLhun

It was shutdown on September 11, 2009 by the Chinese authorities without any prior notice and without any explanation while thousands of other Chinese chat rooms hosted by the same SINA Net are still running without any problem using UC chat software.

As a gathering place of hundreds of Mongolian Internet surfers, majority of whom are Mongolian intellectuals and students, the Mongol People Chat Room has hosted voice interactive conferences every night since 2005 shortly after the shutdown of another popular chat room Mongol Net Chat Room. The following is the topic schedule of the Mongol People Chat Room obtained by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center:


Free discussion on political, social, economic and human rights issues of the ethnic Mongols in China.


Local customs, folklores, tales and indigenous knowledge of Mongolian people in different communities.


Expert presentations mainly on environmental and cultural issues and the challenges the Mongolian people are facing in China.


Discussion on computer and Internet knowledge.


Mongolian music, song and poetry.


“Night of Mongolian People” Program: 1. Contest on knowledge of Mongolian culture; 2. Discussion on Mongolian historical figures; 3. Discussion of Mongolian history.


Discussion on Mongolian literatures.

In addition to these daily events, the Chat Room has also organized a number of special events including the Chingis Khaan’s Birthday Celebration, Christmas parties, and events for promoting and protecting the legal right of the Mongols to use Mongolian language in their public and social life. 


Home Place of Mongols ( )


Home Place of Mongolia ( is blocked in China, but accessable elsewhere.



The Home Place of Mongols, previously known as the Mongolian Youth Forum, is a voluntary charity website dedicated to fundraising for Mongolian children of poverty stricken rural Mongolian communities and displaced communities.

According to Esen, one of the web administrators, this site has been blocked since September 9, 2009, and no explanation has been given from the authorities regarding the block. With 4310 permanent members, it had provided financial assistance to more than 160 Mongolian students who otherwise would have dropped out from school due to economic hardships the students’ families had to bear as a result of the government policy of “ecological migration” and “urbanization”.

Besides the fundraising activities, the Home Place of Mongols has also hosted a number of charity activities and public events through which it collected donations from the public.

The site also had an active discussion forum with sections of “Ethnic Culture”, “Nationality Education”, “Overseas Mongolian Communities”, “Grassland and Ecosystem”, “Computer and Technology” and “Campus Life”. 12958 topics were discussed and 158815 messages were posted on the forum.

Due to its criticism about the Chinese authorities’ policies of “ecological migration” and elimination of Mongolian schools and its increasing popularity in assisting Mongolian students, this site was shutdown in July 2007 by the Chinese authorities.

In order to continue its charitable activities and to circumvent the Chinese Internet blockage and censorship, the Home Place of Mongols moved to a web hosting company in Utah, U.S.A. and changed its IP address in January 2008. It is apparent that the site owner had tried hard to avoid possible blockage of the Chinese authorities by changing its IP address as many as 13 times as Whois Lookup shows.

“New semester has already begun and so many students are in urgent need of our assistance. But we are unable to contact our donors and volunteers due to the inaccessibility of our site”, Esen said in an email statement sent to the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center.

The site ( is accessible in the United States.


Mongolian People (


Mongolian People ( has been shutdown by the Chinese authorities for "bei an" (screening and registering).



The Mongolian People site is a personal portal designed to provide services to Mongolian students and migrant workers in Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places. Services provided by the Mongolian People included distributing news, introducing friends among the Mongolians and organizing charity events.

According to the site owner Mr.Tumurbagan, the Mongolian People was shutdown recently by the Chinese authorities for “not being properly screened and registered (or ‘bei an’ in Chinese)”. No further explanation was given by the authorities.

“It is very difficult for Mongolian sites to get approval from the authorities whereas Chinese sites have almost no such problem,” Tumurbagan told the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center over the phone, “because first the authorities apply an additional strict rule to all Mongolian sites. Second the authorities have a very biased and reluctant attitude towards Mongolian internet sites even though those sites have nothing to do with sensitive issues such as ‘Mongolian nationalism’ and ‘separatism’”.

“So many Mongolian websites have been shutdown due to the difficulty obtaining the required approval,” Tumurbagan added, “if a Mongolian site is shutdown for the issue of ‘bei an’, then it means that there is almost no hope for the site to be reopened.”

Tumurbagan suggested that an increasing number of Southern Mongolian website owners are registering their domain names in Mongolia and choosing their web hosting companies from Mongolia where there is no such fear of being shutdown due to content screening and draconian registration policy.

“But there is still a new concern. The Chinese authorities still can block our sites even if they are hosted in Mongolia and can even possibly accuse us of ‘conspiring with foreign hostile forces and separatists’. For the Mongols here, there has never been an easy life that is free from fear,” Tumurbagan said over the phone.



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