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March 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Without explanation, China has reportedly lifted a three-year block of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the South China Morning Post reported today (Thursday). Although no official explanation was ever offered for blocking both the English- and Chinese-language versions of the popular movie site in January 2010, the Hong Kong newspaper said that it was believed that Chinese authorities were offended by a trailer for the documentary When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun, about the Dalai Lama’s Free Tibet movement, that appeared on the IMDb homepage. The “unblocking” comes as Chinese leaders are meeting for legislative conferences in Beijing. “Thank you, China’s new leaders, this is wonderful,” wrote one film fan on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. (Twitter itself, as well as Facebook, YouTube, and the New York Times, remain blocked on the mainland.) Several others speculated that the unblocking of IMDb might presage a wider loosening of media censorship in China.