Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Search Results for "Xi Mingze" (Name of Xi Jinping's Daughter) Once Again Being Blacklisted by Baidu

In October 23, this blog noted that, at some time between late June and mid August, 2013, Baidu stopped completely censoring search results for "Xi Mingze" (习明泽) the name of the daughter of China's President Xi Jinping, and was instead only restricting search results to a broad white list of web sites based in China.

These screenshots show that, at some time between March and November of 2015, Baidu resumed completely censoring search results for "Xi Mingze."

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Censorship of Ma Yingjiu - Xi Jinping Meeting

On November 7, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Xi-Ma meeting Sceptics Show Narrow Minds.” Some excerpts:
The historic meeting on Saturday between Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou has drawn heated discussions across the Taiwan Straits. Worries among some Taiwan people over the island being "dwarfed" seem more prominent than concerns on mainland social media of Taiwan being "lifted" too high.
. . . .
Major countries do not have diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The "One China" principle has been widely recognized in the world, which indicates Taiwan is not a country. International organizations either do not accept Taiwan, or consider it a regional body.

Taiwan society should accept reality, being aware that nobody in Taiwan can change it, and no international forces, including the US, can help change reality.
These screenshots were taken on November 7, 2015, and show that a search for "Xi Jinping Meets Ma Yingjiu" (习近平会见马英九) on Baidu News returned no results from websites ending in ".tw," the top level domain for Taiwan.

These screenshots were taken the same day, and show image search results for "Xi Jinping Ma Yingjiu Protests" (习近平 马英九 抗议) on Baidu and Yahoo Taiwan.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Censorship of Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin's Harvard Lecture

On October 30, 2015, China's Wanda Group published a notice on its website entitled "Wang Jianlin gives an open lecture at Harvard Business School." An excerpt:
Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin was invited by Harvard University as the first Chinese entrepreneur ever, to give an open lecture to students on “Wanda’s Globalization Strategy”. Over 900 students packed Harvard Business School’s Burden Hall to full capacity, while another 800 students had to resort to waiting outside. A student at the event commented on the amazing attendance and was surprised that a Chinese entrepreneur’s were attracting such an avid interest.
. . . .
After the lecture, Mr. Wang engaged in an open Q&A session with students, calmly handling questions on issues ranging from Wanda's political ties, strategic objectives behind its investment overseas, his outlook on China's slowing economic growth, the US presidential elections and Sino-US relations, as well as China's One Child Policy and resistance to Wanda's real estate project in Spain.
On October 30, 2015, the state sponsored Caixin Magazine published an article on its website entitled "Wang Jianlin Responds to Wanda Shareholder Controversy" (王健林回应万达股权争议). An  excerpt:
While giving a speech in the "Harvard Open Classroom" on October 29, 2015 local time, Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin gave a formal response to a previous report in the New York Times regarding issues with Wanda shareholders. Wang Jianlin said that Qi Qiaoqiao and a company whose shares were controled by members of Deng Xiaoping's family had invested in Wanda business and real estate, and had transfered everything prior to the latter's stock market listing.

The article, which originally appeared at this URL - http://companies.caixin.com/2015-10-30/100868095.html - was deleted within hours. These screenshots show that shortly thereafter Baidu began censoring search results for "Wang Jianlin Responds to Wanda Shareholder Controversy" (王健林回应万达股权争议).

The Wanda website published an English language transcript of Wang's speech. According to the transcript, Wang began by telling the audience:
Harvard is a well-known university for its freedom of academics and thought. So there are no limits when it comes to the Q&A section, feel free to raise any question. 
The original version of that transcript published on October 31, 2015 included the following text (emphasis added):
Shih: So I’m going to ask another question which maybe a little bit controversial. You can decide whether you want to answer it. But I have a New York Times article from April 28, 2015, they suggest the reason behind Wanda’s rapid growth, as we herd earlier, you’re certainly growing very rapidly. But the New York Times suggests that the rapid growth relies on the company’s political affiliations. They even state that President Xi Jinping, and other leaders’ are relatives of President Xi Jinping, and other leaders are Wanda’s shareholders. Do you care to comment on that?

Wang:  Professor Shih, I can see you have an honest face, but I didn’t know you were so relentless. But you have asked, so I will answer you in front of your students. Firstly, Wanda has no political affiliation. In August 2009, our commercial properties subsidiary had initiated a round of private placement and appointed China Galaxy Securities and CICC, China’s largest at the time, to oversee its execution. we set a relatively high price at RMB13 per share. We successfully raised RMB4 billion, breaking the record for the most capital raised by a Chinese private company at the time. Chairman Xi’s brother-in law, Mr Deng Jia Gui’s investment company, Qin Chuan Dadi, participated in the private placement at the same subscribed price level as other investment companies, such as the investment company of China Construction Bank and China Fan Hai Development. Just two months before the listing, Mr Deng sold all the shares held by his investment company and fully exited at a low price point, and I’d like to state at this point that Mr Deng was never a shareholder of our listed company. After six years of investment, he sacrificed the opportunity to realize a huge return in investment. This incident demonstrates that President Xi is not only strict in managing our country but is even more scrupulous when it comes to family affairs.

We owe our rapid growth to our core competence of innovative business model and effective management practices. We pride ourselves on our unparalleled, industry-leading execution capabilities, and it is not easy to find another organization such as Wanda that is capable of completing the construction of commercial centers and hotels in such a consistent and punctual fashion. Some of you may not be familiar with cases studies relating to China, so I will give you an example in the US: AMC. After years of recorded losses we turned it around to make a profit in its first year post-acquisition, and got it listed on the NYSE in the second year with substantial returns to shareholders. This goes to show that the success of our rapid development rests squarely on the shoulders of our core competencies.
These screenshots below show the transcript as it originally published (via Google Cache) and how it appeared several days later.

A Chinese language version of the complete transcript of Wang Jianlin's talk was published on the website of the state sponsored Nanfang Group on October 31, 2015, under the title "A Record of Wang Jianlin's Harvard Open Class Speech" (王健林哈佛公开课演讲实录). Here is an excerpt of the Chinese language version of the text excerpted from the Wanda transcript above:


These screenshots show that the article, originally available at this URL - http://economy.southcn.com/e/2015-10/31/content_135972291.htm - was subsequently deleted.

These screenshots show that around the same time Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Wang Jianlin Harvard Speech" (王健林 哈佛演讲).

For additional background of China’s censorship of information relating to the Wanda holdings of relatives of China’s leaders, see Baidu and Sina Censor Information About Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

State Media Publishes List of Banned Video Apps

On October 15, 2015, several state sponsored news outlets - such as China.com.cn and China National Radio - published an article entitled “GAPPRFT Announces 81 Illegal Video Apps, Fengyun Broadcasting Tops the List” (广电总局公布81个非法视频软件 风云直播上榜). The reports included an image that was posted on Sina Weibo by “Television Eyes” (电视眼 - http://weibo.com/tvread).

The Sina Weibo post was subsequently deleted, but the image showed a table entitled “List of Illegal Video Clients (Mobile Clients)” (非法视频类客户端软件名单) listing 81 apps listed along with app stores on which they were available and a column titled: “suspected illegal and harmful content broadcasted” (涉嫌传播的违规有害内容).

Five of the video apps were cited for “Providing the Hong Kong ‘SunTv Satellite’ politically harmful documentary ‘National Martyr’ video program” (提供香港“阳光卫视”政治有害纪律片“国殇”音频节目).

Some other examples of banned apps and the legal justification:
  • Fengyun: Providing Hong Kong Phoenix News, Vietnam-BPTV1 and other overseas video platform live broadcasting services.
  • Kaixun: Providing UK BBC, Hong Kong Phoenix News live broadcasts.
  • Xigua Video: Providing Hong Kong HKS Channel live broadcast service.
  • Mobile TV Broadcasting: Providing Taiwan Hongguan Satellite Television live broadcast service.
  • 91 Watch TV: Providing Japan CGNTV live broadcasts.
  • Fast Hand Downloads: Providing Japan NHK documentary “Century Factory, Changing China.”
  • GoGo TV: Providing United States “Voice of America” and other overseas television live broadcast programs.
  • Muslim TV: Providing “Islam Channel” and other overseas television live broadcast programs.
Original Sina Weibo Post: http://weibo.com/1806201972/CF1hhAKAZ

Monday, October 26, 2015

Southern Group’s Expression of Support for Journalist Liu Wei Deleted, Baidu Censors "Southern Metropolitan Reporter Liu Wei"

On October 16, 2015, the state sponsored Beijing News published an article entitled "Southern Metropolitan Daily Responds to Criminal Detention of Journalist Liu Wei on Suspicion of Illegally Obtaining State Secrets" (南都回应记者刘伟涉非法获取国家秘密罪被刑拘). Some excerpts:
This afternoon (October 16), Beijing News reporters (Weixin ID: bjnews_xjb) received information that Liu Wei, deputy editor of investigative reporting at the Southern Metropolitan Daily, had been held under criminal detention by Jiangxi police for eight days. According to people close to Liu Wei, at around 8:00 in the evening on October 8, Liu Wei left his home in Chengdu to head to the airport to fly to Beijing. After 10:00 pm that evening, contact with Liu Wei was lost.
. . . .
Beginning in 2013, Liu Wei began reporting on the Wang Lin affair. On October 23 of that year, the Southern Metropolitan Investigative Weekly published a four page report on the affair. Liu Wei was named the Southern Publishing's Group's Journalist of the Year in 2014.
. . . .
At 10:00 pm this evening, this reporter called Southern Metropolitan Publishing, which said the following:

1. Liu Wei is a senior investigative reporter with this news organization, and was assigned by us to investigate and report on news relating to the case of Wang Lin's suspected criminal activity. All of his interviews, reporting, and researching into Wang Lin's case was done entirely in his professional capacity in the execution of work related responsibilities. This news organization has provided a formal response to the Jiangxi police on October 9.

2. This news organization was deeply shocked and surprised that Liu Wei would be faced with deprivation of his liberty for carrying out his professional responsibilities. We immediately undertook emergency measures and got to work assisting Liu Wei's family to retain defense counsel in order to safeguard the legal interests owed to a journalist.

3. This news organization has already reported the situation to the relevant agencies, and have assigned people to accompany family members and legal counsel to Pingxiang, Jiangxi. On October 13, legal counsel wen to the jail to speak with Liu Wei. On October 14, family and legal counsel twice submitted applications for bail, but were denied by police both times.

4. This news organization will be following developments in this case closely, and will actively cooperate with the investigations by relevant agencies. We hope that the police will handle the case in accordance with the law, and will make information about the case public in a timely manner in accordance with the law.

. . . .
. . . .
These screenshots show that the report was deleted the day after it was published.

This screeenshot was taken on October 19, and shows that Baidu was censoring search results for "Southern Metropolitan Reporter Liu Wei" (南都记者刘伟).