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China's online classes are minefield for censorship amid coronavirus

Streaming education interrupted as teachers discuss politics, history and Wuhan

Workers sort textbooks at a warehouse for Xinhua Bookstore, in Fuzhou, Jiangxi Province, on Feb. 17, after students' return to school was delayed due to the new coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- China's cyberspace has long been guarded by the country's censors looking to catch anyone who dares to step across strict lines. But as the outbreak of the new coronavirus has forced schools to move their classes online, even those who play by the rules have quickly found themselves not immune from Beijing's tight control over the internet.

Take Zhang, a medical student in Chongqing, for example. Earlier this month, when her professor displayed an image of a woman's reproductive organ to a group of medical students on DingTalk, the livestreaming service was suddenly disrupted, she said.

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