China has been on a roll when it comes to blocking websites and banning internet services. Their list of banned websites is long and their rational for doing so is questionable at best. The most recent victim of the Chinese internet filtering is the IMDB website. Amazon owned IMDB (Internet Movie DataBase) is the most popular website for movie reviews, listings and information.
China reportedly blocked IMDB over a documentary focusing on Tibet and The Dalai Lama. The documentary titled “When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun” claims to have an unprecedented inside perspective on the Tibetan community in exile. The IMDB page for the movie also contains a 3 minute video teaser for the documentary. A quick search at IMDB shows that there is a lot of other information as well about “The Dalai Lama” and “Rebiya Kadeer”, the two most popular Tibetan figures, that might have provoked Chinese authorities to take this action.
China has previously also blocked YouTube, Facebook and Flickr inside the country and just recently banned individuals from registering domains. However, most of these blocked websites can still be accessed in China using proxy servers or other tools to browse the internet anonymously.
These actions taken by the Chinese authorities can be nicely summed up in the following image by Amar Toor of Switched.com: