Wang Yi enjoys a unique status among thousands of young people interested in independent thinking and constitutional government. A native of Sichuan and a law graduate, Mr Wang opened the Autumn Utopia website in 2000, mainly to show his poems. He then quickly attracted public attention by hosting two of the most influential mainland websites at that time, the Guantian Teahouse and the Century Salon. Famous for his sharp political analysis, he earned respect and many followers before being forced to cut his connections with the latter two websites for his controversial comments and an attempt to host an internet election of moderators. He then began to write news analysis and columns for the print media, but he is still best known for his online articles, in which he presents more critical opinions and insights. But not everyone approves of his fame and his style of criticism. Although he teaches at Chengdu University, he has been prevented from giving lectures since last year because of his outspoken and liberal stance. He is a member of both the Independent Chinese PEN Centre and International PEN, the worldwide association of writers founded in Britain in 1921 to defend freedom of expression. His plan to move to another Chengdu college was blocked last year. 'My fame is protecting me and this almost certainly makes it more difficult [for those who do not like me] to deal with me,' he says.