BEIJING: The Chinese government is to continue a project -- sending computers to the country's western rural areas in a bid to close the digital divide.
According to a circular jointly released Thursday by five Party and government agencies, these computers will be specially for students, rural residents and officials at the grassroots.
The central government will invite public bids from computer manufacturers.
The circular did not specify how many computers the government planned to purchase for the project. However, in 2009 the project sent 53,000 computers to 12 western provinces and regions including Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Guangxi and Sichuan.
All bidders must first guarantee to pre-install filter software on the computers, the circular said.
The activity was jointly launched by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the civilization office of the CPC Central Committee, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Culture.