China: We Shut Down 1.3 Million Websites in 2010

China isn't exactly known for fostering open opinions on the Internet, but hey, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China boasts a "high level of freedom of online speech." The research organization that sits under the State Council then goes on to brag about China dropping the axe on 1.3 million websites in 2010, which effectively reduced the number of online portals in the country by 41 percent.

"This means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated," Liu Ruisheng, a researcher at the academy, explains to BBC News.

That's one way to spin it. The other explanation -- you know, the one that makes sense -- is the recent reduction of nearly half of China's websites has to do with the country imposing increasingly strict regulations. And despite Ruisheng's claims to the country, China's aggressive crackdown on pornography is likely also playing a role.

While the number of websites in China dropped significantly in 2010 compared to 2009, those that remain are cranking out more content than ever. According Ruisheng and company, there were 60 billion webpages by the end of 2010, a 79 percent increase over one year prior.