Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Baidu, Qihoo, Sina, and Tencent Silence Fang Zhouzi After He Criticizes Zhou Xiaoping - Blogger Praised by China's President

On October 17, 2014, the state-sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Online Trolling Suppresses Public Opinion” (the Chinese version was entitled “The Attacks on Zhou Xiaoping Are Not a Proud Moment for Internet Big Vs” - 围攻周小平不是网络大V的光荣). Some excerpts:
Online writers Zhou Xiaoping and Hua Qianfang were invited to attend a Wednesday symposium on literature and art in Beijing, shaking hands with and getting encouragement from Chinese President Xi Jinping.
. . . .
Liberal Chinese celebrities, who have labeled Zhou as a representative of the "50 cent party," a term used to describe online commentators posting comments favorable toward Party policies, took this chance to launch attacks against Zhou again.
. . . .
Coming from the grass roots, Zhou could strike a chord with many young Chinese with his work. Nonetheless, he is not flawless. His rivals could make use of loopholes in his articles to attack him.
. . . .
Some demand perfection in Zhou out of ulterior political motivations. Zhou and Hua weren't invited to the symposium because they are perfect.
The Internet is supposed to be an open community that could accommodate different thoughts.
At 9:00 am on October 20, 2014, online commentator Fang Zhouzi (方舟子) posted an essay on his Baidu Baijia blog entitled “Zhou Xiaoping Sleepwalks Through America” (周小平梦游美利坚). In his essay Fang outlined certain facts that might be considered loopholes or imperfections in Zhou’s September 19, 2014 essay published on the website of “Party Building” magazine entitled “The Broken American Dream” (梦碎美利坚).

The following day, Fang posted the following announcement (now deleted) on his Tencent Weibo:
This Weibo was deleted by Tencent, and the long-form essay that I wrote - “‘An Online Writer’ Sleepwalks Through America,” was deleted after I published it on Baidu. 
Fang Zhouzi's essay as it appeared on Baidu before it was deleted (left).
Fang Zhouzi's post on Tencent Weibo (right).
These screenshots show that Tencent shut down Fang's Weibo hours after he posted his announcement.

These screenshots were taken on October 21, and show Fang’s essay was deleted from and, where it was reposted under the title “Fang Zhouzi Attacks Zhou Xiaoping: Its Easy to Complain About America When You Travel Through It In a Dream” (方舟子打假周小平:梦里游趟美国便控诉美国罪恶).

Original URLs:

These screenshots were taken on October 21, 2014, and show that Baidu and Qihoo were censoring search results for "Zhou Xiaoping."