Monday, October 21, 2013

Baidu And Qihoo Relax Censorship of "Xi Mingze" - Name of President Xi Jinping's Daughter

On December 24, 2012, China's official news agency Xinhua published an article from Xinhua entitled "Xi Photos Show Growth, Career, Family." Some excerpts:
A picture taken in August 1987 shows Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan posing in front of a temple on Dongshan Island in Fujian.
Peng, a celebrated soprano, has described her husband as a "responsible" husband and father.
She said Xi likes swimming and mountain climbing, and sometimes stays up late to watch televised sports games.
The couple have a daughter named Xi Mingze, whom they hope will live an honest life and make a contribution to society.
A young Mingze, in one of the photos, is taken by her joyous father on the back seat of a bicycle when Xi worked in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian.
These screenshots show that, at some time between late June and mid August, 2013, Baidu stopped completely censoring search results for "Xi Mingze" (习明泽), and is instead only restricting search results to a broad white list of web sites based in China.

This screenshot shows that adding other terms to the search (in this case, by restricting results to wikipedia) yields apparently uncensored results.

However, as these screenshots show, Baidu continues ban discussion and questions regarding Xi Mingze on its PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) and Knowledge (Zhidao 知道) forums.

These screenshots show that after Baidu relaxed its censorship of Xi Mingze, Qihoo followed suit.

Sina Weibo, and Tencent Weibo continue to completely censor searches for "Xi Mingze."

These screenshots show that other search engines in China such as Sogou, Tencent's Soso, and, restrict search results either to a broad white list like Baidu, or a narrow white list comprised of about a dozen web sites operated by the central government and the Communist Party.