Showing posts from July, 2011

After Protests in Anshun Over Beating by Chengguan, Sina Weibo Censors "Anshun Chengguan"

On July 27, the state sponsored China Daily published a report entitled " Crowd Riots After Death of Vendor ." Some excerpts: The death of a vendor, who was believed to have been killed by urban management officers in Southwest China's Guizhou province on Tuesday afternoon, caused a gathering of thousands of angry local residents. The unidentified vendor died in front of the gate of a market at Nanhua Lu, Xixiu district of Anshun city, at about 1:43 pm on Tuesday, which led to the gathering of the local people, according to a statement sent to China Daily from the publicity department of Anshun.  The statement did not give details of the cause of the vendor's death, only saying that "before the incident occurred, chengguan (urban management officers) were working in the area". According to a video clip uploaded onto the website by an unidentified netizen, a vehicle with the sign "12319" on it, the local phone number of chengguan, was

Police Station Attacked in Hotan, Examples of Sina Weibo and Search Engine Censorship

On July 18, 2011, the state sponsored People's Daily published an article entitled "Police Station in Hotan, Xinjiang Attacked, Several Attackers Shot Dead" ( 新疆和田派出所遭袭 数名袭击者被击毙) . It published an English version of the article the following day entitled " Rioters Gunned Down, Hostages Rescued in Xinjiang Police Station Attack ." Some excerpts: Police gunned down several rioters who attacked a police station and killed four people in Hotan city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Monday noon, sources with the Ministry of Public Security said. Rioters broke into the police station shortly after 12 p.m.. They assaulted the police, took hostages and set fire to the station, according to the ministry. A member of the armed police, a security personnel and two hostages were killed during the ordeal, the ministry said, adding that another security personnel was severely injured. These screenshots were taken on July 18, and show that on t

Two China Media Figures Quit Sina Weibo Over Censorship

On July 14, two China-based bloggers, Song Shinan (宋石男) and Jia Jia (贾葭), simultaneously published announcements on their blogs that they would no longer be posting to Sina's Weibo. As the screenshots below show, their blog posts (which linked to one-another) were deleted in less than an hour.  The articles were also deleted from other blogging services where they had been reposted. Jia's post was entitled "Everyone is a Victim-Dear Sina Weibo" (每个人都是受害者——致新浪微博), and it was originally available here: . Here is an excerpt: It was around February 2010 when two Sina Weibo editors repeatedly called asking me to open a Sina Weibo account. In early 2009 I had opened a Twitter account around the time of the big CCTV building fire, and I wasn't particularly interested in domestic copy-cat products, but the inability of so many friends to circumvent the Great Firewall left me with no choice but to try Weibo,

People's Daily Op Eds Debate Free Speech on the Internet

The following are translated excerpts from parts 4 and 5 of a series of People’s Daily editorials published between July 11 and July 15 under the heading “Handling Internet Users and Online Opinion Well” (善待网民和网络舆论). I think they capture nicely the ambivalent utilitarian approach regulators take towards the Internet. The "Ecological Governance" of Online Opinions ( 网络舆论的“生态治理” ) At the end of the day, if information flows freely, then online opinion has a certain kind of "self correcting" functionality. Rumors of Jin Yong's death got their start on Weibo, and were quickly dispelled on Weibo. Weibo was one of the main forces for dispelling rumors of radiated salt after the Japan earthquake. Not long ago an actor attacked homosexuals on Weibo, and was subject to universal criticism by Internet users. Practice has shown that permitting different voices to fully express themselves and freely discuss is conducive to a peaceful Internet environment.  说到底,只要信息自由

Sina Weibo Censors Searches for "Zang Jiebin" - Official Who Said Westerners Exercise More Control Over Media Than China

On July 10, 2011, a video was shared on social media websites in China in which Zang Jiebin (臧杰斌), the deputy mayor of Xiamen, was shown saying: Last April, I went to Germany to make some observations and study, and stayed there for two weeks. Afterwards I went to understand what Germany's Internet situation was like. Germany is a progressive country, extremely civilized, industrially well-developed, in fact its well-developed in every way. Its the strongest nation in Europe, but the ordinary people, geez, when they want to get on that Internet, its very very hard! So, everyone, living in our nation of China, many people attack us and say, we Chinese, our government, censor the news and are too strict in controlling ideology. But that's really not the case. Westerners exercise far more control than we do over ideology and new media. One should say that our country is an extremely civilized, an extremely democratic country. Everyone should feel grateful. It is very easy for u

China Think Tank Expert: Internet Freedom "Completely Anathema"

On July 14, 2011, the state-sponsored Southern Weekend published an article entitled “‘Targeted Attacks on Networks,’ Who Is The Main Culprit?” ( “网络特攻”,谁主沉浮? ). Some excerpts: The international strategy for the Internet space formulated by the United States promotes so-called "Internet freedom," advocates an Internet without walls, and opposes sovereignty over the Internet. [Ning Jiajun, Deputy Director, Expert's Committee, State Information Center (国家信息中心专家委员会主任宁家骏) said:] "These are all things that are completely anathema to many of the things in our country, and when one reads between the lines, they represent a significant threat to us." 而美国制定网络空间国际战略,推行所谓“网络自由”,主张不受隔离的互联网,反对网络主权,“这些都和我们国家的很多东西是截然相反的,字里行间对我们有很大的威胁。”

China's Websites Censor False Rumors About JIang Zenmin's Death

On July 8, 2011, the state-sponsored website published an article entitled “ ATV Apologizes Over False Report of Jiang Zemin's Death .” Some excerpts: Hong Kong broadcaster Asia Television Limited (ATV) has apologized for broadcasting an erroneous report of the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin on Wednesday night. . . . . ATV withdrew its report about the death of the former president after China's official Xinhua News Agency dismissed the report at midday, quoting "authoritative sources". It said recent reports of some overseas media organizations about Jiang Zemin's death from illness are "pure rumor". About one hour after Xinhua's clarification, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong voiced "great indignation" through Hong Kong China News Agency. These screenshots were taken on July 6, 2011, and show that searches on Sina's Weibo microblogging platform for several numbers a

Baidu and Sina Weibo Censor "7.5" On Second Anniversary of July 5, 2009 Xinjiang Unrest

On July 4, 2011, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled " Getting Over It ." Some excerpts: Two years after deadly riots in Urumqi shocked the nation and the world, the capital of northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region appears to be a model of peace and stability, held together by increased security measures and improving living conditions. . . . . The increased number of armed police patrolling downtown streets seems to be one of the only reminders that there was an ugly episode of violence that took the lives of 197 people. To help guarantee peace in the city, some 40,000 surveillance cameras have also been installed on buses, in schools, supermarkets and on the streets.  . . . . He Weifang, law professor at Peking University who worked at the Shihezi University in Xinjiang from 2009 to 2011, said the region is “over-emphasizing stability preservation.” “It’s understandable that stability is very important for a complex place like Xinjiang

On 90th Anniversary of Communist Party's Founding, Sina Weibo Censors "Communist Party"

July 1, 2011, was the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. The following screenshots show search results for Sina's Weibo micro-blogging service on that day. Ok : Capitalism [资本主义] Not Ok : Communism [共产主义] Ok : Republican Party [国民党] Not Ok : Communist Party [共产党] Ok : Ma Yingjiu, Obama [奥巴马] Not Ok : Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao [胡锦涛,温家宝] Ok : Chiang Kaishek [蒋介石] Not Ok : Mao Zedong [毛泽东]