Thursday, May 16, 2013

News Sites and Weibos Censor Information About Kunming Anti-PX Protests

On May 10, 2013, the state-sponsored China Daily's web site published an article entitled "Public Opinion Decisive in Kunming's PX Project." An excerpt:
CNPC, China's largest oil and gas producer, is planning to build an oil refinery in Anning, a county-level city administered by Kunming.
One of the refinery's byproduct projects would produce 500,000 tons of paraxylene (PX) annually, according to media reports.
PX is a carcinogenic petrochemical used to create raw materials for the production of polyester film and fabrics.
Hundreds of people took to the streets in Kunming on Saturday to protest the project, insisting that the production of PX will damage the environment.
On May 5, 2013, the state-sponsored Nanjing Daily web site published an series of photos under the title "3,000 Kunming Citizens Gather in City's Center to Peacefully Protest PX Project."(昆明3000市民聚集市中心和平抗议PX项目) These screenshots show that the photos were deleted the following day, between 9:15 and 10:30 am.

Original URL:

These screenshots were taken on May 13, and show that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for "Kunming PX" (昆明 PX).

For more examples of protests against PX plants and related censorship, see: