Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 Government Campaigns Target Content Relating to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and "Foreign Harmful Culture"

On April 24, 2015, the Cyberspace Administration of China (国家互联网信息办公室) published a report on its website entitled "2015 Online 'Sweep Out Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications' to Launch Five Campaigns" (2015年网上“扫黄打非”将开展五个专项行动). Some excerpts:
The Cyberspace Administration of China 2015 Online "Sweep Out Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications" work will comprise the launch five comprehensive campaigns including the "Clean Web 2015," "Fix Borders 2015," "Purify Sources 2015," "Autumn Wind 2015," and "Seedling Protection 2015" to thoroughly cleanse and strike down all kind of illegal harmful information and create a clear and orderly online ecosystem. 
Liang Lihua, Deputy Director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, explained that these five campaigns will be the focus of "Sweep Out Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications" work for 2015. These campaigns will organize attacks and coordinate operations to comprehensively cleanse and strike down all kinds of illegal harmful information including that which is obscene and salacious pornography, terrorist, relates to Tibet and Xinjiang, illegal religions, foreign harmful culture, and Hong Kong and Taiwan reactionism, as well as fake journalists and news bureaus, the illegal republication of news, and that which would poison the hearts and minds of the youth. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Global Times Revises and Deletes Editorials on Defeat of Hong Kong Reform Bill

This screenshot shows a Chinese language editorial entitled "Rejection of Political Reform is an Historic Shame for Hong Kong's Opposition Party" (政改被否是香港反对派的历史之耻) published by the state sponsored Global Times as it appeared before it was deleted.

Original URL: http://opinion.huanqiu.com/editorial/2015-06/6719299.html

These screenshots show that at 4:32 pm on June 18, 2015, the Global Times published an English language editorial entitled “Sad Moment for Hong Kong Democratic Process” at the URL http://www.globaltimes.cn//content/927777.shtml and then at 6:36 pm it published an identically-titled editorial at the URL http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/927806.shtml.

The 4:32 pm editorial was deleted within hours of publication.

Here are the differences between the two English language editorials:

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Baidu Censors Discussion of Historic Vote on Its Hong Kong Forum

At 4:30 pm on June 18, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled "Sad Moment for Hong Kong Democratic Process." (政改被否是香港反对派的历史之耻) Some excerpts: 
The Hong Kong Legislative Council on Thursday vetoed the reform proposal to elect the city's next leader, with 28 out of the 37 lawmakers who voted rejecting the plan, eight voting in favor, and one abstaining.
. . . .
It's a great regret that the reform proposal has been refused. However, it's not an embarrassment to the country, but a humiliation to the radical opposition camp. 
These screenshots were taken on the afternoon of June 18, and show that Baidu was deleting postings from its Hong Kong PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum discussing the outcome of the vote.
I Support You Hong Kong People, Better Nothing Than Fake Universal Suffrage 
Among our mainland Chinese leaders, only the village heads are directly elected. The rest of the senior leaders are all appointed by the Communist Party, so the corruption takes place among these leaders who have not thought for the people, because their promotions are not connected to the people, the people cannot appoint or dismiss them, and they can just commit all kinds of outrages, engaging in corruption. All they need do is kiss up to their superiors and they're set, which has led to severe corruption.
Hong Kong Reform a Slap in the Communist Party's Face 
The Communist Party thought it would pass overwhelmingly huh, who knew Hong Kong people are not as obedient as mainland Chinese people. 

Just like you said! Its going to be 8 votes in favor and 27, 28 votes against. This is the will of the people.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Following Past Practice, Baidu Allows Discussion of Corrupt Official - After He Is Sentenced

On June 12, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “Chinese Applaud Anticorruption Progress as Zhou Yongkang in Jail.” Some excerpts:
Chinese public have praised the country's anticorruption campaign and the leadership's commitment to the rule of law as Zhou Yongkang, a former elite Party official, was sentenced to life in prison for graft charges Thursday. 
A court sentenced Zhou to life imprisonment for accepting bribes, abusing his power and deliberately disclosing state secrets. 
He was convicted of accepting bribes of about 130 million yuan (21.3 million US dollars) and instructing Jiang Jiemin and Li Chuncheng, also senior officials, to assist in the business activities of others, helping them to illegally obtain about 2.14 billion yuan and causing losses to the state of 1.49 billion yuan. 
Zhou also leaked five "extremely confidential" documents and one "confidential" document to an unauthorized person, directly contravening the State Secrets Law.
These screenshots show that, when a user did a search on Baidu PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) for “Zhou Yongkang” (周永康) on June 12, 2015 they were told “In accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this forum may not be opened at this time.” The following day, Baidu had allowed users to create and post to a “Zhou Yongkang” forum.

Similarly, on July 1, 2014, the Global Times published an editorial entitled “Xu’s Expulsion Signals Cleaner, Stronger Army.” Some excerpts:
The expulsion of Xu Caihou from the CPC was hailed around the country. Xu, former military leader and member of the political bureau of the CPC Central Committee, was charged with corruption and position-selling.
. . . .
Before his expulsion was officially announced, speculations about Xu's "problems" had been circulating online for a while. But it was still an astonishing piece of news when the official announcement was made one day before the CPC's 93th birthday. It is possible that the top leadership is trying to send a signal to the public, pointing out the severity of corruption and showcasing the "zero-tolerance" determination and confidence to fight corruption.  
Besides, making Xu's case headlines on July 1 also shows that there are no barriers that can obstruct the anti-graft efforts.
These screenshots show that, some time shortly after July 1, Baidu decided it was no longer a violation of “relevant laws, regulations, and policies” to allow its users to open a forum dedicated to discussion of Xu Caihou (徐才厚).

Sunday, June 14, 2015

China’s Schools Delete Notices Ordering Them to Nominate Internet Propagandists

On May 15, 2015, a notice entitled “Notice Regarding Recommending Backbone Internet Commentators and Backbone Freelance 50 Centers” (关于推荐骨干网评员、骨干“自干五”的通知) was posted on the Mianyang Normal University (绵阳师范学院) website. The Notice, issued by the Communist Party Propaganda Department, ordered the school to  recommend three instructors and students with “a reliable political stance” to “engage in online public opinion guidance.” 

The screenshot below shows the notice as it appeared before it was deleted.

Original URL: http://www.mnu.cn/tongzhi_view.asp?id=5932&cate=11 (Note: at the time of this posting it appears that page contains malware).

These screenshots show similar notices that were posted on (and subsequently deleted from) the websites of the Sichuan Medical College (四川医科大学) and the A Ba Teachers University (阿坝师范学院).

These screenshots show the A Ba notice was removed from the list of notices on the school's Propaganda Department's web page between June 8 and June 14, 2015.

Here is the full text of the Mianyang Normal University notice.
Notice Regarding Recommending Backbone Internet Commentators and Backbone Freelance 50 Centers 
Issue Time: 2015-5-15 Browsed 1,738 Times 
All General Party Branches, Subordinate Party Branches, and On-Campus Work Units:
In order to increase the speed at which the greater Internet public opinion is formed, carry out online public opinion work, comprehensively carry implement the rule of law in online spaces, comprehensively build a well-off society, comprehensively deepen reforms, comprehensively rule the nation in accordance with law, comprehensively implement Party discipline, put into effect the "Three Grand Development Strategies," push forward the "Two Great Leaps," and create a good online public opinion environment, in accordance with the requirements of the State Internet Information Office's "Online Public Opinion Guidance Task Force 2015 Work Execution Plan" and the provincial Department of Education's "Notice Regarding Recommending Backbone Internet Commentators and Backbone Freelance 50 Centers" you are hereby notified of the following matters regarding recommending our schools' online commentators. 
1. Recommendation Criteria 
(i) Possess a reliable political stance, be a model of complying with the Constitution and laws, and supportive of the Communist Party's leaders and path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. 
(ii) Possess exceptional political qualities, strong professional work capabilities, relative competence in writing, outstanding professional and scholastic achievements, and a certain degree of academic influence and social notoriety. 
(iii) Possess a professional work style and good personal character, and voluntarily commit not to use their status as an online commentator to seek any commercial or other inappropriate benefits on behalf of themselves or any organization. 
(iv) Possess Internet communication skills, familiarity with the special characteristics of Internet communication, and the ability to compose essays, field interviews, and offer suggestions and opinions regarding online commentary work on regular basis. 
2. Recommendation Quotas 
(i) Each work unit shall recommend one instructor and one student to act as backbone Internet commentators (secondary schools with students to participate in the recommendation). 
(ii) Each work unit shall recommend one backbone "freelance fifty center," which can be either an instructor or a student. 
3. Work Methodology 
(i) Backbone Internet commentators and backbone "freelance fifty centers" will compose commentary, field interviews, and regularly engage in online public opinion guidance work. 
(ii) Encourage backbone Internet commentators and backbone "freelance fifty centers" to open Weibo and Weixin accounts, and repost their works in a timely manner. 
(iii) Backbone Internet commentators and backbone "freelance fifty centers" will help the provincial Department of Education and schools organize online public opinion guidance. The provincial Department of Education will utilize administrative measures, technical measures, and market forces to popularize famous experts and discussion forums. 
4. Recommendation Requirements 
Backbone Internet commentators and backbone "freelance fifty centers" have an impact on safeguarding the State's overall information security, so it is asked that the Party secretaries for each General Party Branch and Subordinate Party Branch take primary responsibility, and approach this with a high degree of political awareness to actively organize, strictly oversee, and earnestly recommend. Send electronic and hard copies of the recommendation form (signed and chopped by the responsible person) to 12036335@qq.com, care of Cai Wenting, telephone: 1388111164 (extension 61864) before May 21. 
Attachment: Backbone Internet Commentator and Backbone Freelance Fifty Center Recommendation Form.doc 
(Note: "Bring Your Own Food Fifty Center" is abbreviated to "Freelance Fifty Center." This term refers to those people who voluntarily work to counter defamatory rumors by posting rational and coherent data and information to poke holes in the falsehoods and win over the majority of the masses who don't understand the true situation. They do their part as positive social forces, and act as patriotic Internet users and cheerleaders for China's development.) 
Communist Party Propaganda Department
May 15, 2015


发布时间:2015-5-15 浏览次数:1738人/次




Thursday, June 11, 2015

Aung San Suu Kyi Visits China, Baidu Bans Forums on "Aung San Suu Kyi"

On June 10, 2015, the state sponsored Global Times reported:
Wang Jiarui, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), met on Wednesday with Aung San Suu Kyi, chair of Myanmar's National League for Democracy (NLD).
This screenshot was taken on June 10, and shows that when a user searched Baidu's forum product, PostBar (Tieba 贴吧), for “Aung San Suu Kyi” (昂山素季) they were told: "Apologies, in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies, this Bar 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。).

This screenshot, taken the same day, shows that the same search on Sina Weibo indicated no restrictions on Sina Weibo users' discussion of the Aung San Suu Kyi visit.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Baidu and Sina Weibo Censor "Tiananmen 26th Anniversary"

These screenshots show that in the run-up to the 26th anniversary of the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Incident, Baidu and Sina Weibo began censoring search results for "Tiananmen 26th Anniversary" (天安门 26周年).

These screenshots show Sina Weibo was also censoring search results for "Tiananmen" in English and Chinese, as well as the number 19890604.