Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baidu and Sina Weibo Censor Search Results About Ming Pao Report on Li Jianguo

Li Jianguo is vice chairman and secretary general of China's National People's Congress. On January 26, 2013, Hong Kong's Ming Pao published an article entitled "Capital Whispers: Li Jianguo Investigated as Part of 'Beat the Tigers' Anti-Corruption Drive" (京城密語﹕反腐「打老虎」 李建國傳受查).

The phrase "Beat the Tigers" is explained this way in a January 21 China Daily article:
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), vowed to unswervingly fight against corruption and keep power reined within the cage of regulations.
During a CPC disciplinary watchdog meeting on Tuesday, as Xi ordered enhanced restraint and supervision on the use of power, he said, "Power should be restricted by the cage of regulations."
. . . .
Xi said the Party should crack down on "tigers" and "flies" at the same time by dealing with illegal activities of officials on the one hand and tackling malpractices and corruption cases, which closely impact the people, on the other.
"No exception will be made when it comes to Party disciplines and law," Xi said. "Cases will be investigated completely and no leniency will be meted out no matter who is involved."
He continued, "Party cadres at various levels should keep in mind that no one can enjoy absolute power outside of the law."
This screenshot, taken on January 27, shows that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for the phrase "Beat the Tigers," (打老虎).
These screenshots show that between January 28 and January 29, Sina Weibo deleted four posts discussing the Ming Pao article, and then began censoring searches for "Li Jianguo Ming Pao" (李建国 明报).

These screenshots show that on January 29 Baidu began censoring search results for "Li Jianguo." Prior to Baidu's censorship, the top search result was a discussion of the Ming Pao report. Following Baidu's censorship the top result was Xinhua's profile of Li.

Baidu's censorship came just hours before Xinhua published a report entitled "Li Jianguo: Earnestly Implement the Spirit of Xi Jinping's Important Charge, Improve the Work Style of the National People's Congress" (李建国:坚决贯彻习近平重要批示精神 改进全国人大会风).  That article made no mention of an investigation.

Prior to Baidu's censorship, five of the results on the first page were from January 2013. As this screenshot shows, a day after Baidu imposed censorship the only results from January 2013 on the first page were four links to the same Xinhua article.

Translation: Huang Xuqin and Wang Jianbing Inciting Subversion Indictment

On June 14, 2024, the Twitter account "Free Huang Xueqin & Wang Jianbing 释放雪饼" (@FreeXueBing)  posted a copy of the last two p...