Wednesday, October 28, 2015

State Media Publishes List of Banned Video Apps

On October 15, 2015, several state sponsored news outlets - such as and China National Radio - published an article entitled “GAPPRFT Announces 81 Illegal Video Apps, Fengyun Broadcasting Tops the List” (广电总局公布81个非法视频软件 风云直播上榜). The reports included an image that was posted on Sina Weibo by “Television Eyes” (电视眼 -

The Sina Weibo post was subsequently deleted, but the image showed a table entitled “List of Illegal Video Clients (Mobile Clients)” (非法视频类客户端软件名单) listing 81 apps listed along with app stores on which they were available and a column titled: “suspected illegal and harmful content broadcasted” (涉嫌传播的违规有害内容).

Five of the video apps were cited for “Providing the Hong Kong ‘SunTv Satellite’ politically harmful documentary ‘National Martyr’ video program” (提供香港“阳光卫视”政治有害纪律片“国殇”音频节目).

Some other examples of banned apps and the legal justification:
  • Fengyun: Providing Hong Kong Phoenix News, Vietnam-BPTV1 and other overseas video platform live broadcasting services.
  • Kaixun: Providing UK BBC, Hong Kong Phoenix News live broadcasts.
  • Xigua Video: Providing Hong Kong HKS Channel live broadcast service.
  • Mobile TV Broadcasting: Providing Taiwan Hongguan Satellite Television live broadcast service.
  • 91 Watch TV: Providing Japan CGNTV live broadcasts.
  • Fast Hand Downloads: Providing Japan NHK documentary “Century Factory, Changing China.”
  • GoGo TV: Providing United States “Voice of America” and other overseas television live broadcast programs.
  • Muslim TV: Providing “Islam Channel” and other overseas television live broadcast programs.
Original Sina Weibo Post:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Southern Group’s Expression of Support for Journalist Liu Wei Deleted, Baidu Censors "Southern Metropolitan Reporter Liu Wei"

On October 16, 2015, the state sponsored Beijing News published an article entitled "Southern Metropolitan Daily Responds to Criminal Detention of Journalist Liu Wei on Suspicion of Illegally Obtaining State Secrets" (南都回应记者刘伟涉非法获取国家秘密罪被刑拘). Some excerpts:
This afternoon (October 16), Beijing News reporters (Weixin ID: bjnews_xjb) received information that Liu Wei, deputy editor of investigative reporting at the Southern Metropolitan Daily, had been held under criminal detention by Jiangxi police for eight days. According to people close to Liu Wei, at around 8:00 in the evening on October 8, Liu Wei left his home in Chengdu to head to the airport to fly to Beijing. After 10:00 pm that evening, contact with Liu Wei was lost.
. . . .
Beginning in 2013, Liu Wei began reporting on the Wang Lin affair. On October 23 of that year, the Southern Metropolitan Investigative Weekly published a four page report on the affair. Liu Wei was named the Southern Publishing's Group's Journalist of the Year in 2014.
. . . .
At 10:00 pm this evening, this reporter called Southern Metropolitan Publishing, which said the following:

1. Liu Wei is a senior investigative reporter with this news organization, and was assigned by us to investigate and report on news relating to the case of Wang Lin's suspected criminal activity. All of his interviews, reporting, and researching into Wang Lin's case was done entirely in his professional capacity in the execution of work related responsibilities. This news organization has provided a formal response to the Jiangxi police on October 9.

2. This news organization was deeply shocked and surprised that Liu Wei would be faced with deprivation of his liberty for carrying out his professional responsibilities. We immediately undertook emergency measures and got to work assisting Liu Wei's family to retain defense counsel in order to safeguard the legal interests owed to a journalist.

3. This news organization has already reported the situation to the relevant agencies, and have assigned people to accompany family members and legal counsel to Pingxiang, Jiangxi. On October 13, legal counsel wen to the jail to speak with Liu Wei. On October 14, family and legal counsel twice submitted applications for bail, but were denied by police both times.

4. This news organization will be following developments in this case closely, and will actively cooperate with the investigations by relevant agencies. We hope that the police will handle the case in accordance with the law, and will make information about the case public in a timely manner in accordance with the law.

. . . .
. . . .
These screenshots show that the report was deleted the day after it was published.

This screeenshot was taken on October 19, and shows that Baidu was censoring search results for "Southern Metropolitan Reporter Liu Wei" (南都记者刘伟).

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Baidu and Sina Block Discussion of Magna Carta

On October 16, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Magna Carta Moved to British Embassy for Practical Reasons: FCO.” Some excerpts:
Tian Dewen
Credit: CASS
British authorities on Thursday said that relocating the Magna Carta display from the
Renmin University of China to the British Embassy in Beijing was because of "administrative and logistical practicalities."
. . . .
The embassy first announced, via its official WeChat account, on October 9, that it would display the document at the Renmin University from Tuesday to Thursday. It later issued a notice changing the display location to the British ambassador's residence one day before the exhibition was due to open.

The abrupt change sparked speculation from Western media, with some reporting that the Chinese authorities blocked the exhibition at the Renmin University of China.
. . . .
There has been no speculation on the location change in the Chinese media.

Observers believed that there was no need to speculate on the location change, as it is common for cultural relic exhibitions.

"The Western media over-interpreted the change, and it's not necessary," Tian Dewen (田德文), a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
These screenshots were taken on October 16, 2015, and show that Baidu had banned users from establishing a PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum on the Magna Carta (大宪章), and a search for “Magna Carta” on Sina Weibo returns no results, just a censorship notice.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Baidu Search Results for "Ai Weiwei Listening Devices" Disappear

On October 4, 2015, Ai Weiwei (艾未未) posted the following photos on his Instagram page.

These screenshots show that on October 7, 2015, Baidu claimed it could no longer find any search results for the phrase "Ai Weiwei Listening Devices" (艾未未 监听设备), even though on the previous day it was able to find over 500 results, including the results headed "Listening Devices Discovered in Ai Weiwei's Workshop" (艾未未工作室发现监听设备).

This screenshot, also taken on October 7, 2015, shows that when a user searched for "Ai Weiwei Monitored" (艾未未 监听), Baidu displayed a censorship notice, and none of the 3 results returned appeared to contained that phrase.

These screenshots, also taken on October 7, 2015, show that users were not being permitted to discuss Ai Weiwei on either Sina Weibo or Baidu PostBar (Tieba 贴吧).