Friday, December 19, 2014

Global Times Supports Sacking of Journalist Who “Attacked the Party”

On November 25, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Freedom of Speech Subject to Legal Restriction.” Some excerpts:
Jiaxing Daily, a Party newspaper in East China's Zhejiang Province, announced on its official Sina Weibo account Sunday it had fired commentator Wang Yaofeng [王垚烽]. Wang paid the price for comments he made that attacked the Party and challenged the country's political bottom line on significant issues.
. . .
Wang published many Weibo posts that did not match his job position. He wrote that "Jiaxing people have the tradition of resisting dictatorship. In history, the Party was born here; and today Jiaxing people are also capable of ending it here." Another comment he published on Weibo said "If there is a war between China and Japan, I will definitely stand by the democratic Japan, not the autocratic China."
. . . .
Wang does not suit a position in the Party newspaper. There are others like Wang who oppose mainstream values. These people no longer face the treatment that they would have faced a few decades ago. In today's China, diversification should be highly cherished, rather than abused.
Law also enjoys authority in terms of speech. It is radical to claim that comments should be exempt from restrictions of law.
This screenshot was taken on November 29, 2014, and shows that in 2012 and 2013 the Global Times website published at least 10 op-eds by Wang.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On UN Human Rights Day, UN Global Compact Member Baidu Bans PostBar Forums on "Human Rights"

December 10, 2014 was International Human Rights Day. According to the United Nations website:
This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. It celebrates the fundamental proposition in the Universal Declaration that each one of us, everywhere, at all times is entitled to the full range of human rights, that human rights belong equally to each of us and bind us together as a global community with the same ideals and values.
According to Baidu’s website, on October 28, 2008, Baidu announced that it had joined the United Nation’s Global Compact.

The Global Compact’s website states that the Compact’s Ten Principles are derived from documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and that “The UN Global Compact asks companies to embrace, support and enact, within their sphere of influence, a set of core values in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.”

Principle 1 of the Compact states: “Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.”

This screenshot was taken on December 10, 2014, and shows that Baidu had banned users from establishing a forum on its PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) product on topic of “Human Rights” (人权).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Xiaomi, Baidu Promise Their Mobile App Stores Will Abide by Socialism and China’s National Interests

On December 2, 2014, the overseas edition of the People’s Daily published an article entitled “Beijing Ensures that Published Apps ‘Get Their Identity Verified’” (北京确保App发布“验明正身”). Some excerpts:
Quite a few Apps disregard the State's administrative regulations regarding news information services qualifications, covertly launch news information services, and disregard basic facts in order to attract eyeballs, and in so doing severely infringe upon the public interest. Some even go so far as to illegally transmit overseas information. 
In order to address this, the Beijing Municipal Internet Information Office and the Beijing Internet Society assembled 50 mobile client, App store, and App creator operators to sign the "Beijing Mobile Internet Application Order and Public Information Service Self-Discipline Agreement" and the "Safeguard App Information Service Order, Bring About App Positive Social Utility Commitment Letter."
According to the People's Daily, signatories included Sina (新浪), Sohu (搜狐), Netease (网易), Baidu (百度), Phoenix (凤凰), Qihoo (奇虎360), and Xiaomi (小米).

Article 8 of the "Safeguard App Information Service Order, Bring About App Positive Social Utility Commitment Letter" states:
Those engaging in news information service activities must carry out relevant formalities and obtain certification for such activities. No one may publish or re-publish political news without prior approval from the competent government regulator.
Article 4 of the "Beijing Mobile Internet Application Order and Public Information Service Self-Discipline Agreement" state:
Resolutely block illegal harmful information. Scrupulously abide by the "Seven Bottom Lines," fulfill our primary duties, and strengthen content examination and verification.
The term “Seven Bottom Lines” does not appear in any PRC law or regulation. The first mention of the “Seven Bottom Lines" appears to have come in a report posted on the People’s Daily website on August 11, 2013. According to that report, well-known online personalities had gathered at CCTV's headquarters in Beijing on August 10 and reached an agreement that there were seven bottom lines that they would observe:
  1. Laws and Regulations
  2. The Socialist System
  3. The National Interest
  4. Citizens' Legal Rights and Interests
  5. Social Order
  6. Moral Norms
  7. Factual Information
On August 13, 2013, a Sichuan government web site published an article entitled "The Seven Bottom Lines That Every Internet User Should Observe" (七条底线,全体网民应该共守).  According to that article:
The National Interest is to be placed above all others, because without the nation we have nothing. That is the way of the physical world, and even more so in the online world. We must forge an online patriotic culture, with the soul of online culture resting on the national interest.
Regarding the socialist system, the article said:
This is our fundamental institution, this is a bottom line we cannot neglect, whether in real life on the Internet, we eat and live socialism. We cannot undermine ourselves.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Nobel Peace Prize History With Baidu Encyclopedia Characteristics - 2014 Edition

In 2013, this blog noted that the Baidu Encyclopedia (Baike 百科 - a Wikipedia-like product) list of Nobel Peace Prize winners did not include either Liu Xiaobo or the Dalai Lama. 

These screenshots were taken on December 13, 2014, and show that the list now includes a reference to Liu Xiaobo, but still omits the Dalai Lama.

In October 2013, Baidu’s Encyclopedia had only one entry for “Liu Xiaobo” - an article about a hydrological engineer. These screenshots show that, as of December 2014, the URL that originally pointed to the article about the hydrological engineer now points to a disambiguation page that includes a link to a “Liu Xiaobo” who is a “Beijing Normal University Professor.”

This screenshot shows that that article is about the Liu Xiaobo who won the Nobel Peace Prize, or, as the Baidu Encyclopedia article describes him:
On October 8, 2010, the Norway Nobel Prize Committee awarded that year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the criminal Liu Xiaobo who had been imprisoned by China’s judicial agencies for inciting subversion of state power.

Here is another excerpt from Baidu’s Encyclopedia article on Liu Xiaobo:
Liu Xiaobo is particularly inclined to worshipping Western political, economic, and cultural systems . . . . As for the motherland that bore and nurtured him, Liu Xiaobo actually said "I am indifferent to patriotism or treason. If you want to say I've committed treason, then I've committed treason! I would consider it an honor to admit that one is an unworthy descendant who has dug up their ancestral graves." 
As a Chinese person, Liu Xiaobo regarded his own people and his own countrymen as beneath contempt . . . . Liu Xiaobo saw being Chinese as something to be ashamed of, and he believed that his greatest personal shortcoming was his inability to speak a foreign language . . . .  
刘晓波对西方的政治、经济、文化制度极尽吹捧之能事 . . . . 对于养育自己的祖国,刘晓波竟然说,“我无所谓爱国、叛国,你要说我叛国,我就叛国!就承认自己是挖祖坟的不肖子孙,且以此为荣。” 
作为一个中国人,刘晓波把自己的民族和同胞贬得一文不值 . . . .刘晓波耻于做中国人,他认为自己最大的悲哀是外语不过关 . . . .
Baidu’s Encyclopedia article on Liu Xiaobo also contains statements such as the following (attributed to “an Internet user” (“网友”)): “Liu Xiaobo receives a monthly salary of 13,000 Yuan while in prison.” (刘晓波坐牢的月薪是人民币1.3万元。)

Friday, December 12, 2014

China's Government Shuts Down Tencent Regional Website For a Week

On October 19, 2014, the state-sponsored published an article entitled “Tencent Daqin Website Shuttered for Seven Days for Violating Regulations” (腾讯大秦网因违规被关停7天). Some excerpts:
Recently, the Provincial Internet Information Office decided to sanction Tencent's Daqin Net by shutting it down for seven days on the grounds that the site's content was not closely monitored, there was negligence in oversight, and malicious and harmful information was transmitted in violation of the Rules on the Administration of Internet News Information Services and other the relevant regulations.