Chinese Wikimania 2006 to be held in Hong Kong

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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Flag of Hong Kong
View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

The Chinese community of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, is planning for a 2006 Chinese Wikimedia conference (2006中文維基年會), which is scheduled on the 26th and 27th of August this year. Hong Kong has been selected, from six candidate cities, to hold the event.

During selection of the host city, the Chinese community favored Hong Kong mostly, while Taipei was the second, and Shanghai and Beijing were tied for the third. The leader of the organzing committee, Kaurjmeb from Taipei, Taiwan, said that "Comparing the advantages and disadvantages, Hong Kong is much better than Taipei," when she announced the result late March 14th at midnight. She said that Hong Kong Wikipedia users have been active, and other users agreed with that, so it led to success for Hong Kong in being selected as the host city.

Wikipedia is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia. It is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a web browser and an Internet connection. Wikipedia's policies guide most acticles to be acceptable to most people. Begun in 2001, Wikipedia has more than 2,500,000 articles in 212 languages. The Chinese version, which started on October 2002, reached nearly 60,000 acticles recently, and the number is increasing by more than 3,000 acticles every month. Its users are from Mainland China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC) and other places all over the world.

Thirteen percent of the users of the Chinese Wikipedia are from Hong Kong, and more than 6,000 Hongkongers have contributed by editing acticles. Due to the efforts of Hong Kong's active users, there is a lot of information related to Hong Kong. The aim of the Chinese Wikipedia conference is to gather the Chinese Wikipedia's users and other people, in order to discuss issues related to intellectual property, open educational resources and media etc., by means of talks and seminars.

Holding the event in Hong Kong enables people from Mainland China and Taiwan to meet together. Hong Kong users, however, mainly worry about whether the resources for holding such an event are enough. Luckily, the Student Union of the Chinese University of Hong Kong is willing to give a hand. Ben Cheng, previous vice-president, pointed out, "Issues about intellectual property and Wikipedia are ignored in Hong Kong." They hope that helping to organize such events can promote Wikimedia and its meaning to the citzens in Hong Kong. On the other hand, another student organization, the Hong Kong Secondary Sudents Union, also showed its interest in helping with the organizing work. Rock Li, the internal secretary, said that "If the event is held in Hong Kong, people from Hong Kong will be more aware of intellectual property."