Monday, October 29, 2012

The New York Times' 2012 Report on Wen Jiabao's Family Wealth - Sina Weibo Censorship

At around 5:00 am (Beijing Time) on October 26, the New York Times Published an article entitled "Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader" (总理家人隐秘的财富). An excerpt:
Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives, some of whom have a knack for aggressive deal-making, including his wife, have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion.
. . . .
Duan Weihong, a wealthy businesswoman whose company, Taihong, was the investment vehicle for the Ping An shares held by the prime minister’s mother and other relatives, said the investments were actually her own. Ms. Duan, who comes from the prime minister’s hometown and is a close friend of his wife, said ownership of the shares was listed in the names of Mr. Wen’s relatives in an effort to conceal the size of Ms. Duan’s own holdings. 
“When I invested in Ping An I didn’t want to be written about,” Ms. Duan said, “so I had my relatives find some other people to hold these shares for me.” 
But it was an “accident,” she said, that her company chose the relatives of the prime minister as the listed shareholders — a process that required registering their official ID numbers and obtaining their signatures. Until presented with the names of the investors by The Times, she said, she had no idea that they had selected the relatives of Wen Jiabao.
The following screenshots were taken on October 26 and 27, and show examples of Sina Weibo search results being censored for terms related to the New York Times' article.

"Wen Jiabao" in Chinese and the initials "wjb."
Sina began censoring "NYT" on October 26th.
"New York Times" in Chinese and English, as well as "Billion" and
"Chinese Leader" - both of which appeared in the article's English title.
Some time on the 26th/27th, Sina began censoring "The Premier's Family"
(总理家人), which appeared in the article's Chinese title.
Wen Jiabao's family, clockwise from top-left: Wife Zhang Beili (张蓓莉),
Brother  Wen Jiahong (温家宏),  Mother Yang Zhiyun (杨志云),
Son Wen Yunsong (温云松)
Also mentioned in the article: "Duan Weihong" (段伟红) and
"2.7 Billion" (27亿)

Translation: Xu Zhiyong's Statement in His Own Defense

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