Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sina Weibo Begins Censoring “Hu Yaobang” As 25th Anniversary of the Clearing of Tiananmen Square Nears

On April 16, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Tribute to Hu Veils Value Differences” (请莫用胡耀邦英名反对他忠诚的事业). Some excerpts:
For reasons known to all, Hu is rarely mentioned in the Chinese media. Remarks about him that frequently appear on the Internet are often swayed away from official line, given that some either intentionally quoted Hu out of context or reevaluated Hu based on their own values.
. . . .
When commemorating the 90th anniversary of Hu's birth, the authorities praised his glorious life while circumventing the political controversy of his later years. It's right to do so. Hu has been written into the history of the nation and the Party as absolutely a positive spirit. Avoiding controversy shows not only respect for Hu but also a responsibility for the course of the Party and the country. This is also the case with judging other late Chinese leaders, one of the prerequisites to ensure Chinese society keeps moving forward.
. . . .
Those who oppose the leadership of the Party and who trumpet that China should copy the Western political model had better keep away from Hu's name.

. . . .
. . . .
These screenshots show that, days before the 25th anniversary of the Chinese government’s clearing of Tiananmen Square in June 1989, Sina Weibo began censoring search results for “Hu Yaobang” (胡耀邦).

Friday, May 30, 2014

China’s Major Internet Companies Censor Search Results for “Chai Ling”

According to Wikipedia (English / Chinese):
Chai Ling was one of the key student leaders during the Tiananmen Square protests (also known as the June Fourth Movement) of 1989. She has attended Peking University, where she obtained a BA in psychology; Princeton University, where she received a MPA in public affairs and international relations; and Harvard Business School, from which she also graduated with an MBA.

These screenshots were taken on May 25, 2014, and show that Baidu, Qihoo, Sina Weibo, and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for “Chai Ling” (柴玲).

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Baidu Doesn’t Censor Searches for “Tiananmen Massacre” On Its Japan Search Engine

Below, the left-hand screenshot was taken on May 28, 2014, and shows that when a user in Japan searches for “Tiananmen Massacre” (天安门大屠杀) in Chinese on, Baidu informs them that “In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, some search results have not been displayed.” (根据相关法律法规和政策,部分搜索结果未予显示。) Baidu restricts search results to about a dozen websites that under the direct control of the central government and the Communist Party, such as:
  • Xinhua
  • China News
  • Guangming Daily
  • China Youth Daily
  • People’s Daily
  • China Radio International
The same search done on Baidu’s Japan search engine,, returns apparently uncensored results, with the first three results being from Youtube.

This screenshot shows that when a user searches for “Tiananmen Massacre” on, they are not shown a censorship notice, but rather are told that Baidu cannot find any search results.

This screenshot shows an article from the People’s Daily website from 2007. It says that Baidu’s Japan website had been blocked by the Great Firewall, the suspected reason being pornography.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

China’s Major Internet Companies Censor Search Results for “Wu’erkaixi”

According to Wikipedia: (English / Chinese):
Örkesh Dölet (Uyghur: ئۆركەش دۆلەت), commonly known monomymously as Wu'erkaixi (or Wuer Kaixi, is a Chinese dissident known for his role during the Tiananmen protests of 1989. An ethnic Uyghur, he was born in Beijing on February 17, 1968 with ancestral roots in Ili, Xinjiang. He achieved prominence while studying at Beijing Normal University as a hunger striker who rebuked Chinese Premier Li Peng on national television. He now resides in Taiwan as a political commentator.

吾尔开希,原名吴尔凯西·多莱提(维吾尔语:ئۆركەش دۆلەت,拉丁维文:Örkesh Dölet,中华民国户籍姓名为吾尔开希多莱特;1968年2月17日-),是中国民运人士,维吾尔族,出生于中华人民共和国北京市,新疆伊宁人,是八九学运的领导成员,与王丹、柴玲等同为当时学生领袖之一。于北京成长,亦曾在新疆接受三年教育。现为中华民国国民,定居于台湾台中市,并从事金融业。至今仍遭中华人民共和国政府通缉。
These screenshots were taken on May 25, 2014, and show that Baidu, Qihoo, Sina Weibo, and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for “Wu'erkaixi” (吾尔开希).

Monday, May 26, 2014

China's Major Internet Companies Censor Searches About Man Whose Legs Were Crushed by a Tank in 1989

This screenshot was taken on May 25, 2014 and shows that a search on Sina Weibo for “Fang Zheng’s Legs” (方政 双腿) returns one result - a post with a photo of many in a wheelchair with both legs missing and the caption: “Fang Zheng’s legs were crushed by a tank traveling at high speed.” (方政双腿被高速行驶的坦克车碾过。)

 These screenshots show were taken on the same day, and show that the same search on Baidu, Qihoo, and Tecent’s Weibo returns a censorship notice.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

China's Search Engines, Weibos Censor "April 26 Editorial" (Regarding Students in Tiananmen Square)

People's Daily April 26, 1989 Editorial
According to the People’s Daily’s “This Day in Party History” website:
On April 26, 1989, the People’s Daily published an editorial entitled “It is Necessary to Take a Clear-cut Stand against Disturbances.” The editorial noted that some abnormal phenomena have occurred during the mourning activities for comrade Hu Yaobang. After a mass rally to mourn his death, a handful of people with ulterior motives went on to manipulate the mood of young students who were grieving over comrade Hu Yaobang, and waved the flag of democracy to damage the democratic legal system, with the goal of dividing the people's hearts, bring chaos to the nation, and destroy the stability and unity of the entire political system. This was a planned conspiracy, an ongoing disturbance whose very essence is to fundamentally deny the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and the socialist system. This was a significant political struggle which has been placed before the entire party and the all the people of the nation. The editorial called on the entire party and all the people of the nation to unite and stand up in opposition against the disturbance.

These screenshots were taken on May 24, 2014, and show that Sina’s and Tencent’s Weibos and Baidu’s and Qihoo’s search engines were all censoring search results for “April 26 Editorial.” (四二六社论)
This screenshot shows that the full text of the editorial is available on the People’s Daily website here:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sina Weibo Begins Censoring "Tiananmen" and "25 Years Ago"

These screenshots show that, just weeks before the 25th anniversary of the clearing of Tiananmen Square, Sina Weibo has begun censoring search results for "Tiananmen" (天安门) and "25 Years Ago" (二十五年前).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Baidu and Bing China Censor "Tiananmen Mothers"

These screenshots were taken on May 21, 2014, and show that Baidu was censoring search results for "Tiananmen Mothers" (天安门母亲), but not for "Tiananmen Fathers," "Tiananmen Grandmothers," or "Tiananmen Sisters."
These screenshots were taken the same day, and show a comparison of search results for "Tiananmen Mothers" on and

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tiananmen 25 Years Later: Baidu Censors "1989 Student Movement"

These screenshots were taken on May 21, 2014, and show that Baidu was censoring searches for "1989 Student Movement," (1989 学运) but not "1988 Student Movement" or "1990 Student Movement."

This screenshot, taken the same day, shows that Baidu had also banned users from establishing PostBar (贴吧 Tieba) forums on "Student Movements."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baidu Censors "June 4th" As the 25th Anniversary of June 4, 1989 Nears

These screenshots show that, weeks before the 25th anniversary of the clearing of Tiananmen Square, Baidu began censoring search results for the date "June 4." (六月四号)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baidu Censors Name and Images of Tiananmen Tank Man As the 25th Anniversary of June 4, 1989 Nears

These screenshots show that, weeks before the 25th anniversary of the clearing of Tiananmen Square, Baidu began censoring web search and image search results for "Wang Weilin" (王维林), the name of the man credited with blocking tanks attempting to enter Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Baidu Censors "Return to Tiananmen" As the 25th Anniversary of June 4, 1989 Nears

These screenshots show that, in the weeks during the run-up to the 25th anniversary of the clearing of Tiananmen Square, Baidu began censoring search results for "Return to Tiananmen." (重回天安门)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

As the 25th Anniversary of June 4, 1989 Nears, Baidu Censors "198964"

These screenshots show that, weeks before the 25th anniversary of the clearing of Tiananmen Square, Baidu has begun censoring search results for the number "198964."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Global Times: Lawyers Need to Learn Their Place, China Prohibits Commemorating June 4, 1989

On April 8, 2014, Hu Xijin (胡锡进), editor of the state sponsored Global Times, published an editorial under his pen name “Shan Renping” (单仁平) entitled “‘Die Hard Faction’ Lawyers Should Not Over-Estimate Their Political Clout.” (“死磕派”律师不可政治上自我高估). A partial English translation of the article was also published under the title “Legal Activists Must Also Respect Rule of Law.”

According to Hu:
Pu [Zhiqiang] is one of the activist lawyers who are committed to protecting civil rights. Their actions have contributed to the improvement of China's rule of law and social equity.

But activism has become a double-edged sword for these civil rights lawyers, empowering them to breach their code of practice and even express strong political viewpoints. Judicial means are not the only method they would like to use to protect civil rights, and mobilizing online public opinion and even supporting and joining illegal activities have become their new favorites.
. . . .
It was reported that Pu was detained after he attended an anniversary event to commemorate the June 4th incident. Whether there is a connection has not been officially confirmed, but it is obvious that such an event, which is related to the most sensitive political issue in China, has clearly crossed the red line of law.
. . . .
[T]hese lawyers themselves have lost the ability of self-introspection. They must regain self-awareness and realize that they are not the commandos or authoritative forces to improve China's rule law.

. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
The English version departed from the English version in several respects. First, in the Chinese version almost every reference to “Pu Zhiqiang” is instead a reference to the “Die-Hard Lawyer Faction.” According to one source, the origin of this term is as follows:
During the "Beihai Case" of June, 2011, four criminal defense lawyers gained notoriety when they were arrested for perjury. Indignant lawyers from across the country came to Beihai to defend and demand justice on behalf of the jailed lawyers. From the beginning of the "Beihai Case," the lawyers traveling to Beihai met with significant difficulties and obstacles. Chi Susheng, a National People's Congress representative from Heilongjiang, was unable to restrain herself, and flew from the Northeast to Guangxi. Lawyer Yang Xuelin recalls that when Chi Susheng saw lawyers being surrounded and beaten by unknown assailants, she said "Never Yield." This was the birth of the “Die Hard Faction."

Another difference between the Chinese and English versions of Hu’s editorial is that, in his English language version Hu says Pu “crossed the red line of the law” by attending an event commemorating June 4, 1989. But in his Chinese version Hu referred to the incident as the “89 Political Disturbance"  (八九政治风波) and went on to say that participating in a commemoration of the event is “prohibited”: “But it is immediately obvious to discerning people that those kinds of activities are prohibited in China.” (但明眼人一看就清楚,那样的活动在中国是被禁止的)

Hu did not say pursuant to which law commemoration is prohibited.

Friday, May 9, 2014

When It Comes to Trials, Lawyers Are Gagged, But Not the State Press or Government Officials

In April, 2014, the Beijing Bar Association issued the "No. 9 Guidance on Professional Standards." (第9号规范执业指引) Some excerpts:
Lawyers have a plethora of channels for expressing their opinions and using and transmitting case information, and this had made it easier to garner public attention. As professionals, lawyers shall be rigorous and circumspect with public statements, and when making public or broadcasting information relating to a case shall comply with the standards of the legal profession. 
These Standards are hereby issued in order to promote the standardization and systematization of public statements and utilization of case information, and uphold the image of the legal profession. All members are asked to comply.
. . . .
Article 8. Before a judgment becomes effective, lawyers and law firms may not make public any case materials, defense pleadings, or appointment letters, or disclose case information to any non-relevant persons through any means including micro-blogs [weibos] or blogs.


On May 7, 2014, London's Guardian newspaper published a letter from Miao Deyu, Spokesman, Chinese embassy in the UK. Some excerpts:
Investigation shows that Ilham Tohti used his identity as a lecturer at Minzu University of China and his website, Uighur Online, to incite "overthrowing the government", preach "Xinjiang independence", and openly call on Uighur people to carry out "violent struggle" "as in the fight against Japanese aggression". He also formed a criminal group around him aimed at splitting the nation. These activities constitute the violation of the Chinese law and jeopardise state security and social stability.
As previously noted in this blog, shortly after Tohti was arrested,  the state-sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Leave No Chance for Malicious Preaching.” Some excerpts:
Indeed, Tohti is no ordinary Joe. Closely watched by the World Uyghur Congress, he is known to have often given aggressive lectures in class. He founded the Uighur Online website in 2006, which was very active around the riots in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in 2009, which left nearly 200 people dead.
As that blog post noted, shortly after Tohti was arrested, Sina Weibo began censoring searches for "Ilham." (伊力哈木)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baidu Bans PostBar Forums on “64” and “1989”

According to Baidu, its “PostBar” (Tieba 贴吧) forum is “ the world’s first and largest Chinese-language query-based searchable online community platform.”

These screenshots show that, while Baidu has allowed users to establish communities to discuss “63” and “65,” users searching for forums “64” are told: “Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this forum cannot be opened at this time.” (抱歉,根据相关法律法规和政策,本吧暂不开放。)

These screenshots show Baidu has similarly banned forums on “Tiananmen” (天安门), 1989, and “Student Movement” (学运).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chinese Police Arrest Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, Baidu Shuts Down Forum on “Pu Zhiqiang”

On the afternoon of May 6, 2014, the state-sponsored Beijing News published a report on its website entitled “Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Missing for Two Days? Family: Arrested on Suspicion of Committing the Crime of Instigating Quarrels.” (律师浦志强失联两天?家属:涉嫌寻衅滋事罪被刑拘) Some excerpts:
Beijing News report on
Pu Zhiqiang's arrest.

Today at around 1:00 pm a Beijing News reporter called (Pu's) law firm, and an employee stated "It is true that we have not been in contact with him for two days."
. . . .
This afternoon at around 1:30, Qu Zhenhong (Pu's niece) made post on her verified Weibo under the title "Pu Zhiqiang's Family" confirming this information.

Qu confirmed to a reporter from the Beijing News over the phone that the Weibo was posted by her. According to her, this morning at around 8:00 am Pu's wife was notified via telephone from the Beijing Fengtai District Fanjia police station, and wasordered to come to the police station to retrieve the arrest notice.

"Yesterday afternoon he returned home and collected his computer," Qu said, and that yesterday morning he was taken away by the police to assist with an investigation, but after he retrieved his computer he was once again taken away by the police.

According to sources, before his disappearance on May 3 in Beijing Pu had taken part in a symposium along with about 10 other scholars.

. . . .




The Beijing News article has since been deleted.

These screenshots show that Baidu shut down its “Pu Zhiqiang” PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum shortly after the Beijing News article was published.

Searching Baidu's "Library" for “Tiananmen 1989” and “June 1989”

According to Baidu, its “Library” (Wenku 文库) product “is an online document sharing platform, through which any registered users of our website can search, browse or read, by categories, documents in various formats.”

These screenshots show that, while Baidu’s users are sharing tens of thousands of documents knowledge about “Tiananmen 1988,” “Tiananmen 1990,” as well as “1989 May” and “1989 July,” Baidu tells users of its “Library” search engine that it is unable to locate a single document shared by its users about “Tiananmen 1989” or “1989 June.”

Monday, May 5, 2014

Searching for "Tiananmen" in English on One of China's Top Social Networks? Don't Bother

These screenshots show that searches for "Tiananmen" on Baidu's PostBar (Tieba 贴吧), Sina's Weibo, and Tencent's Weibo return no results, just censorship notices.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Baidu's "Knows" Can't Find Any Questions About "Tiananmen 1989" or "June 1989"

According to Baidu, its online “Knows” product (Zhidao 知道) is “the world’s largest Chinese-language interactive knowledge-sharing platform.”

These screenshots show that, while Baidu’s users are sharing hundreds of thousands of items of knowledge about “Tiananmen 1988,” “Tiananmen 1990,” as well as “1989 May” and “1989 July,” Baidu tells users of its “Knows” search engine that it is unable to locate a single item of knowledge about “Tiananmen 1989” or “1989 June.”

Saturday, May 3, 2014

25 Years After Tiananmen, Baidu’s Wikipedia Has No Article For "1989"

According to Baidu, its online “Encyclopedia” (Baike 百科) is “the world’s largest user-generated Chinese-language encyclopedia.”

These screenshots show that Baidu's Encyclopedia has entries for 1988 and 1990, but not for 1989.

This screenshot shows the Chinese version of Wikipedia has an entry for 1989, which includes a link to the "Six-Four Tiananmen Incident."

These screenshots show that the Baidu Encyclopedia entry for the the "20th Century" contains no reference to the events of May and June, 1989, but it does mention events in Germany and Afghanistan. The article on the 20th Century in the Chinese version of Wikipedia references the 1989 Tiananmen Incident.

The following screenshots show excerpts from the Baidu Encyclopedia articles for "Tiananmen" and "Tiananmen Square." Neither article contains any information relating to the events of May and June, 1989.
The "Tiananmen" and "Tiananmen Square" articles in the Chinese version of Wikipedia both contain links to the "Six-Four Incident" (六四事件) in 1989.

This screenshot shows the Wikipedia article on the June Fourth Incident.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Baidu Search Results for Tiananmen Incident Anniversary - 20th vs. 25th

These screenshots show Baidu results for “Tiananmen Incident 20th Anniversary” (天安门事件二十周年) in 2009 and “Tiananmen Incident 25th Anniversary” (天安门事件二十五周年) in 2014. In 2009 Baidu returned one result. In 2014, Baidu told users it could not find any search results.

In neither case did Baidu display a censorship notice.

These screenshots show the same searches on

Baidu Censors Search Results for “Train Station Explosion”

On May 1, 2014, China’s official news agency Xinhua published an article entitled “3 Dead, 79 Injured in Xinjiang Railway Station Blast.” Some excerpts:
Three people were confirmed dead and 79 others were injured in a violent terrorist attack at a railway station in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Wednesday evening.

Four people were seriously injured but in stable condition, said the publicity department of the regional committee of the Communist Party of China.

An initial police investigation showed knife-wielding mobs slashed people at the exit of the South Railway Station of Urumqi and set off explosives, it added.
These screenshots were taken within hours of the incidents, and show that Baidu was restricting search results for “Train Station Explosion” (火车站 爆炸) and “Urumqi Explosion” (乌鲁木齐 爆炸) to its own web properties and about one dozen websites operated by the central government.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Searching For “Tiananmen Massacre” on Baidu - 2005 vs. 2014

These screenshots show that in 2005 Baidu was not censoring searches for “Tiananmen Massacre” in English. Baidu returned results from Wikipedia, Flickr, and Today, Baidu restricts results for that same search to its own web properties and about a dozen websites operated by the central government.

These screenshots show that, while Baidu does in fact include Flickr and Wikipedia in its search index, it tells users searching for “tiananmen massacre” on those sites that it cannot find any results.

 These screenshots show that Baidu no longer includes in its index. That website is operated by supporters of the Tiananmen Mothers (天安门母亲).