Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Government Revokes Registration of Whistleblower Website "I Paid a Bribe"

On June 16, 2011 the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “China's 'I-Paid-a-Bribe' Sites Face Shutdown.” Some excerpts:
China's grassroots anti-bribery websites may all be shut down because they are not registered with authorities, the Nanfang Daily reported Thursday.

Bribery-reporting websites have been burgeoning this week, allowing Internet users to share their experiences in giving bribes though shying away from revealing corrupt figures.

Inspired by the Indian anti-bribery site, at least eight Chinese online forums have sprung up since last Friday, bearing names with similar meanings.

But safety concerns and an assumption that authorities will not give them the go-ahead are stopping many from registering their anti-bribery websites, choosing instead to operate unregistered and at the risk of being shut down.
On August 11, 2011, the state-sponsored Guangzhou Daily published a report entitled "'I Paid a Bribe' Permanently Closed, Blooming of Private Anti-Corruption Was Short-Lived" (“我行贿了”永久关闭 民间反腐网站或昙花一现). An excerpt:
Between June and today, the number of private anti-corruption websites exploded to almost 60, and the growth leaves one speechless -- every day they were getting almost 300,000 hits. Nevertheless, the majority of the anti-corruption websites still existed in a very narrow space - - only four have obtained registration so far. The relatively well-known "I Paid A Bribe" website re-opened between July 14 and July 20 after it registered, but after only 20 days it was forced to announce it was permanently shutting down.

The same day the state sponsored Changing Business Times reported:
As early as June 21 the Chinese version of “I Paid A Bribe” was shut down. That day, “Xiaoxiao Sheng” received a call from his hosting service informing him that websites that have not registered would not be able to operate, so “Xiaoxiao Sheng” could only shut down his site temporarily.

On July 14, the already-shuttered “I Paid a Bribe” completed its registration. The result came as a surprise to “Xiaoxiao Sheng.” On around July 20, “I Paid a Bribe” quietly relaunched, and during this time “Xiaoxiao Sheng” refused to speak to the media, “fearing that too much attention would lead to the site being shut down.”

Then on August 9 “Xiaoxiao Sheng” received another notice, this time informing him that his registration had been revoked. He posted a notice on the website’s home page “A Note to Friends of ‘I Paid a Bribe’” announcing the final fate of the website: the site’s registration had been revoked, and the site was being permanently shut down.


7月14日,已经关闭的 “我行贿了”通过备案。这个结果,让“笑笑生”备感意外。7月20日左右,“我行贿了”网低调重开,在此期间,“笑笑生”一度拒绝记者采访,“害怕太过高调让网站再度关闭。”

These screenshots were taken on August 23, 2011, and show that a search for "I Paid A Bribe" on Sina's Weibo micro-blogging service does not return any results, just a notice that says "In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and polices, search results have not been displayed." (根据相关法律法规和政策,搜索结果未予显示。) The same search on Baidu's Tieba forum returns a notice saying "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this forum cannot be opened" (抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧暂不开放。).

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...