A New York Times technology reporter has said that the American newspaper has been excluded from this year’s China’s World Internet Conference, set to open on Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang.

“China’s World Internet Conference calls for an ‘interconnected world shared+governed by all.’ Yet NYTimes excluded for 2nd straight year,” reporter Paul Mozur said on Twitter.

The WIC, founded last year, is part of Beijing’s effort to “assume the responsibility of a great network power.”

Lu Wei, China’s “cyberspace minister”, vowed to “build a multilateral, democratic, transparent international Internet governance system that will better benefit the whole world,” China Daily reported. However, in a press conference last week, Lu said China “only welcomes friends.” The Chinese official also denied there is censorship in the country.

The three-day event, to be held in the scenic water town of Wuzhen along China’s east coast,  boasts over 2,000 guests from more than 120 countries this year.

According to the WIC official website, foreign government leaders set to attend the conference include Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Kazakhstan’s Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister Surrey Aliyev, and Tajikistan’s Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda.

Hong Kong’s newly-appointed Secretary for Innovation and Technology, Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung, will also attend the “Wuzhen Summit”.

The WIC is held in the water town of Wuzhen. Photo: Wikicommons.

Others on the guest list include the heads of Chinese internet and technology companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, Sohu, Netease, Xiaomi and Sina. Overseas companies sending representatives include Nokia, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Siemens and IBM.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to deliver a keynote speech at the opening ceremony.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.