China media: Internet outage

File image of a computer keyboard Papers say hackers may have caused a brief internet outage in China

A major internet outage, income disparity and reports about China building a new surveillance ship are the main themes in the Chinese media on Wednesday.

Media suspect the outage on Tuesday may have been caused by hacking groups.

Chinese netizens were denied internet access for at least an hour during the disruption. Two-thirds of the websites, including the popular Baidu and Sina portals, were affected, the China National Radio reports.

The Global Times reported that domestic internet traffic was redirected to a website owned by US company Dynamic Internet Technology. The company has denied any involvement in the outage.

According to Reuters news agency, the company "sells anti-censorship web services tailored for Chinese users".

"The incident is possibly caused by a hacker attack, but the real attacker remains unknown as the hacker could have used the Dynamic's IP address as a shield," the Global Times quotes an unnamed security expert as saying.

Several experts tell the China National Radio that the attack is "not malicious" and will not cause an information leak for the users, while an article on the China.org.cn, a government-authorised internet portal, says the outage once again brings the problem of internet security into focus.

The Chinese edition of the Global Times adds that experts do not think the attack originates from the US.

"The US is already a 'super super' big country in cyberspace. It holds the majority of internet resources, so such an attack will not benefit the US government or the military, but will only alert China about the importance of internet security," it quotes another unnamed cyber expert as saying.

Income gap

In other news, the China Daily calls for the world's policymakers to tackle income disparity after an Oxfam report revealed that the world's richest 85 people own as much wealth as half of the world's population.

The paper, however, says that China has achieved "some progress" in closing the rich-poor income gap.

Official data released on Monday shows that China's Gini coefficient, a measure of the income gap between the rich and the poor, has dropped slightly from 0.473 in 2013 compared with 0.474 in 2012.

The China Daily points out that the Gini coefficient "has eased from 0.491 in 2008 to 0.473 in 2013" which "bears testimony that the inclusiveness of the country's economic growth is increasing".

The Shanghai Daily, however, notes that the income gap in China is still higher than the warning level of 0.4 set by the United Nations.

In similar vein, state-owned Economic Information observes that this is the first time officials have published the figures in the past 10 years.

The website praises the effort of the new leadership in closing the income gap and says that releasing the figures is a "positive sign" and such "important" information will make the work of tackling income disparity easier.

Meanwhile, several media outlets are also reporting that China is building the world's largest (10,000-metric tonne) marine surveillance ship, which surpasses Japan's 7,175-tonne patrol boat.

Official channel CCTV says state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation has signed the contract to construct the ship.

"If the rest of the massive vessel is fully completed, China will overtake Japan as owner of world's biggest surveillance ship," the CCTV adds.

However, the company appears to have retracted the information on its website and has "declined to confirm the news", reports the Global Times.

In regional politics, China's Foreign Ministry has announced that President Xi Jinping will not be meeting Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The Global Times says Japan likes "corridor diplomacy" or "chance encounter diplomacy", which means creating an opportunity to meet informally, but now China has "blocked the door" to such meetings with an "insincere" Mr Abe.

Elsewhere, the paper also reports that Chinese activist Xu Zhiyong's trial has started at the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People's Court.

Mr Xu is charged with "gathering crowds to disrupt public order". He is one of several activists from a transparency movement who are facing trials this week.

The Global Times' Chinese version and other state media outlets appear to be not covering the story.

And finally, reports of the New York police's alleged beating of an elderly Chinese man who jaywalked has also grabbed the Chinese media's attention.

At least 30% of netizens who took part in an internet poll on popular portal Sina support the actions of the police.

The Global Times observes the "double standard" view that many hold and comments that if Chinese police were to beat a jaywalker, people will immediately start criticising the force.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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