Tuesday, August 25, 2015

China's Search Engines Censor "Stock Disaster"

UPDATE August 25, 10:30 am: It appears Baidu has stopped displaying a censorship notice. See below for details.

On August 25, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “Morale Needed as Pessimism Roils Market.” Some excerpts:
Chinese stock markets saw their biggest daily fall since 2007 Monday, with the Shanghai Composite Index dropping 8.49 percent, while the ChiNext Index plunged 8.08 percent. Other Asian markets experienced a dramatic fall along with them. US stock markets also plunged to daily limit in early Monday following the big drop in Chinese stocks. Some have therefore dubbed the day "Black Monday."

There seems to be only one reason for the tumble - investors lack confidence in China's economic outlook.
. . . .
There is no need to worry because of pessimistic voices from the outside world. China's economy is in a bitter period of structural adjustments. We should become inured to face all sorts of problems with grace. This temporary lack of confidence will not snowball to become destructive. 
These screenshots were taken in the morning of August 25, 2015 (Beijing time), and show that all of China's major search engines - Baidu, Qihoo, and Sogou - were censoring searches for "Stock Disaster" (股灾).

UPDATE August 25, 10:30 am: These screenshots were taken around 10:15 am on August 25 (Beijing time) and show that apparently Baidu was no longer displaying a censorship notice when users search for "Stock Disaster." Although Baidu is also telling users it is not able to find as many search results as when it was displaying the censorship notice.

These screenshots show the change in search results for "Stock Disaster" restricted to Sina's Blog domain.