Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sina Weibo Censors Searches for "Zang Jiebin" - Official Who Said Westerners Exercise More Control Over Media Than China

On July 10, 2011, a video was shared on social media websites in China in which Zang Jiebin (臧杰斌), the deputy mayor of Xiamen, was shown saying:
Last April, I went to Germany to make some observations and study, and stayed there for two weeks. Afterwards I went to understand what Germany's Internet situation was like. Germany is a progressive country, extremely civilized, industrially well-developed, in fact its well-developed in every way. Its the strongest nation in Europe, but the ordinary people, geez, when they want to get on that Internet, its very very hard!

So, everyone, living in our nation of China, many people attack us and say, we Chinese, our government, censor the news and are too strict in controlling ideology. But that's really not the case. Westerners exercise far more control than we do over ideology and new media.

One should say that our country is an extremely civilized, an extremely democratic country. Everyone should feel grateful. It is very easy for us to get on the Internet. Over there you to jump through a bunch of approval bottlenecks, a bunch of channels, and only then can you get on the Internet. And it costs a lot. 
去年的四月份,我到德国去进行考察、学习,在那儿呆了半个月。后来我去了解德国上网怎么样,德国是个先进国家吧,高度文明,工业很发达,各方面都很 发达,是欧洲大陆最大的强国,这个普通老百姓啊,要上这个互联网,非常非常难!所以大家,生活在我们中国这个国度,大家很多人攻击说我们大陆啊, 我们政府啊,对新闻封锁,对意识形态管得太严,其实不是这样,西方人对这个意识形态,对这种新新媒体,它的管理远远超过我们。应该说我们的国家,是非常文 明、非常民主的国家,大家应该感到很幸福。我们现在上互联网很简单,在那里要经过很多很多的审批途径,很多渠道,那么才能上网,而且费用很高。
 On July 11 the state-sponsored Southern Metropolitan Daily published a report entitled “Xiamen Deputy Mayor: Its Really Hard to Get Online in Germany With Its Multiple Levels of Approvals and High Fees” (厦门副市长:德国上网非常难层层审批费用高). Some excerpts:
A student from Tubingen University told the SMD that German Universities give every student free Internet access, and German families do not need to undergo government review when applying for broadband, they only need to select a telecommunication company and sign a contract with them.

The report was quickly deleted.

Original URL:

On July 12 the Global Times published a report entitled “Chinese Official Goes Abroad and Criticizes Difficulties With Going Online in Germany” (中国官员出国后贬德国上网难). Some excerpts:
Currently Germany has three main Internet service providers. Ordinarily, prior to handling Internet access, these companies investigate a user's criminal record and credit rating, and where a serious crime was previously committed they will not allow the user access, or will they will be subject to strict surveillance when going online.

The report was quickly deleted.

Original URL:

On July 13, the German Embassy responded with a post on its Sohu blog saying:
Anyone can go online without any problems. It is also not necessary to go through any official agency approval whatsoever. . . Although a small amount of content is prohibited (for example, denying the holocaust or Nazi symbols), the orders imposing these prohibitions are imposed through a democratic process by the parliament and they are clearly set forth in the law.

任何人都可以上网,无任何 问题。也不需要通过任何官方机构的审批. . . . 虽然有极少数内容是被禁止的(比如否定纳粹大屠杀,或者纳粹的标志), 但这些禁令是议会通过民主的程序决定并在法律中明文写下的。
Original URL:

This screenshot was taken on July 12, 2011, and shows that Sina Weibo was censoring search results for “Zang Jiebin” (臧杰斌).

Translation: Xu Zhiyong's Statement in His Own Defense

 Source: China Digital Times: On April 10, 2023, Xu Zhiyong, a well-known human rights de...