Mar 4, 2020 - World

Coronavirus moves China's classes online, and censors are watching

A professor at Shanghai's Antai College of Economics and Management conducts class online. Photo: Zhang Hengwei/China News Service via Getty Images

Schools and universities across much of China have closed due to the coronavirus outbreak and are being forced to hold classes online for the foreseeable future.

Zoom in: The video platforms being used are closely monitored by censors, and some teachers are finding their lessons unceremoniously ended when they hit on controversial topics, the AP reports.

  • "Biology courses have been blocked for 'pornographic content.' History and politics classes are among the most vulnerable; subjects such as the Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward are regularly censored in classes and online discussions."
  • Louis Wang, a middle school history teacher in northeast China, said his workload has ballooned because of an arduous approval process for online classes. “Every word that is spoken in a video recording must be pre-approved,” Wang said.

The bottom line: This is one more way in which the coronavirus is putting China's authoritarian system to the test.

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