The website of Yanhuang Chunqiu magazine, one of China’s most prominent pro-reform publications, was closed down on Friday morning.
The magazine’s official account on Sina Weibo, a Twitter style Chinese social media platform, posted at 10.08am, said the site was “suddenly cancelled” around 9am.
It said they received text messages and emails from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on December 31, telling them the site had been cancelled.
The post said the notice they received did not explain why the site had to be shut down.
After clicking the site’s URL on Friday, internet users see a notice saying: “the website you are visiting has been shut down for not registering”.
It said the owner of the site should register with mainland police and business authorities and contact the internet service providers if they have any questions about registration.
Yanhuang Chunqiu, established in 1991, is a monthly magazine that mainly focuses on the Communist Party and important issues in China. Its editorials are written by retired liberal journalists, such as former Xinhua reporter Yang Jisheng. It is backed by pro-reform retired officials.
In a New Year editorial, the magazine called for the introduction of a constitution in China, saying it had popular support.
Yanhuang Chunqiu editors were unavailable for comment on Friday – the day most mainland officials resume work after the New Year holidays.