Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sina Weibo Censors Searches Related to Thousands of Dead Pigs Found Floating in Shanghai River

On March 27, 2013, China's official news service Xinhua published an article entitled "Coordinate Social Management, End Pig Dumping." An excerpt:
In his 2006 novel "Life and Death are Wearing Me Out," China's Nobel Laureate Mo Yan tells a story of dead pigs being illegally dumped into a river at night, after authorities refuse to offer farmers subsidies to properly dispose of the carcasses.
Unfortunately, life recently imitated art, and over 14,000 pig carcasses had been retrieved from a section of the Huangpu River near Shanghai as of last week.
While the dead pigs didn't end up on dinner tables, they did become a point of concern for Shanghai's 20 million residents, for whom the Huangpu River is a major source of drinking water.
The case had revealed a lack of coordination in China's social management strategies, in which solving one problem often creates another.
This screenshot was taken on March 15, and shows that a search for "Pigs Tossed Shanghai" (猪投上海) on Sina Weibo returned no results, just a censorship notice.

This screenshot was taken on March 25, and shows that a search for "Huangpu River Dead Pigs" (黄浦江 死猪) on Sina Weibo returned no results, just a censorship notice.

Friday, March 29, 2013

China's Social Media Censors Discussion of Yunnan PX Plant

Anning is a county in Yunnan province. "PX" refers to paraxylene - a hydrocarbon based on benzene.

These screenshots were taken on March 29, 2013, and shows that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for "Anning px" (安宁 px).

This screenshot, also taken on March 29, shows that Baidu has banned users from establishing a PostBar (贴吧) forum under the heading "PX."

For more examples of protests against PX plants and related censorship, see:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jiang Jiemin Appointed SASAC Head - Related Weibo Censorship

On March 25, 2013, the official news agency Xinhua published an article entitled "Veteran Oilman Moves to Tend State Assets." An excerpt:
Jiang Jiemin, former board chairman of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), has been appointed head of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), the commission announced on Monday.
Jiang resigned from the country's largest oil and gas company earlier this month after former SASAC leader Wang Yong was promoted to China's cabinet.
These screenshots show that a search for "Jiang Jiemin Shuanggui" (蒋洁敏 双规) on Sina Weibo on March 24 returned 18 results. The same search on March 26 returned no results, just a notice saying Sina could not find any results.

This screenshot, taken on March 26, shows that a search for "Jiang Jiemin" on Tencent Weibo returned no results, just a censorship notice.

"Shuangui" is sometimes translated as "dual regulation" or "dual designation," and refers to a form of extra-judicial detention whereby someone is ordered by Communist Party investigators to remain at specific location for a specific time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hong Kong Reporters Beaten Outside Liu Xiaobo's Wife's Apartment, Sina Weibo Censors "Hong Kong Reporters Beaten"

The SCMP's Photo of Reporters Being Assaulted
On March 9, 2013, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported:
Two Hong Kong journalists were beaten by unidentified men in Beijing yesterday while filming Hong Kong activist Yang Kuang's attempt to visit Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo's wife, who has been under extralegal house arrest for more than two years, the activist and journalists said. 
Yang's whereabouts were unknown last night. A witness, a mainland activist who requested anonymity, said while Yang was waiting for a taxi shortly after 10pm a dozen men attacked him. He was taken away in a police car afterwards, the activist said.
Another activist, Hu Jia, posted on his microblog a picture he claimed to be the moment Yang was put in the police car.
. . . .
Yang, Liu Shasha, Zhou Ai and another supporter of Liu Xia stood outside her building on Thursday and shouted support through a loud hailer. They were later taken away by police and detained overnight at Yangfangdian police station.
These screenshots show that a Sina Weibo search for "Liu Xia Hong Kong Reporters" (刘霞 香港记者) on the morning of March 9 returned five results. The same search later that evening returned no results, just a notice saying Sina Weibo could not find any results.

These screenshots, taken on March 12, show that a search for "Hong Kong Reporters Beaten" (香港记者 被打) on Sina Weibo returned no results, just a censorship notice, and less than two weeks later Sina had stopped censoring searches.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Lawyer Claims Zhang Dejiang's Election was Unconstitutional, Weibos and Search Engines Censor "Unconstitutional"

On March 18, 2013, Hangzhou-based lawyer Wang Cheng (王成) sent a letter to China's Supreme People's Court alleging that Zhang Dejiang's (张德江) election to the National People’s Congress was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated Articles 65 and 103, which read:
Article 65 The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is composed of the following:  
the Chairman;
the Vice-Chairmen;
the Secretary-General; and
the members. 
Minority nationalities are entitled to appropriate representation on the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
The National People’s Congress elects, and has the power to recall, members of its Standing Committee.
No one on the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress shall hold office in any of the administrative, judicial or procuratorial organs of the State. 
Article 103 The standing committee of a local people’s congress at or above the county level is composed of a chairman, vice-chairmen and members, and is responsible and reports on its work to the people’s congress at the corresponding level.
A local people’s congress at or above the county level elects, and has the power to recall, members of its standing committee.
No one on the standing committee of a local people’s congress at or above the county level shall hold office in State administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs. 
第六十五条 全国人民代表大会常务委员会由下列人员组成:
第一百零三条 县级以上的地方各级人民代表大会常务委员会由主任、副主任若干人和委员若干人组成,对本级人民代表大会负责并报告工作。
According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post:
The article stipulates that no one on the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress shall hold office in any of the administrative, judicial or procuratorial organs of the state. 
“But when Zhang was elected as the chairman of the NPC Standing Committee on March 14, he was still serving the post of China’s vice-premier,” Wang said. 
Zhang formally stepped down from his government post two days later when the new line-up of vice-premiers was announced.Wang also alleged the elections of five vice-chairmen of the NPC Standing Committee were invalid under the same reasoning: former president of the Supreme People’s Court Wang Shengjun; former head of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping; former health minister Chen Zhu; former vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court Wan Xiang; and former director of the State Council Information Office Wang Chen. 
Four of those officials resigned from their former posts within a few days after their election, with the exception of Wang Chen, who is still holding his State Council post.
This screenshot, taken on March 25, 2013, shows that a search for "unconstitutional" (违宪) on Sina Weibo returns no results, just a censorship notice.
These screenshots, taken the same day, show that Sina Weibo also targeted searches for "Hangzhou Lawyer China's Supreme Court" (杭州律师 中国最高法院) for censorship - searches for that term were censored, while searches for "Hangzhou Lawyer," "China's Supreme Court," "Hangzhou China's Supreme Court," and "Lawyer China's Supreme Court" were not censored.
These screenshots show that Baidu was censoring searches for "Wang Cheng Unconstitutional" (王成 违宪), but not "Wang Cheng" or "Unconstitutional."
These screenshots show that Sogou, Soso, and were also censoring searches for "Wang Cheng Unconstitutional."

These screenshots show that, while Youdao says that it is unable to find any results for "Wang Cheng Unconstitutional," when a users adds quotation marks ("Wang Cheng 'Unconstitutional'") Youdao is able to find hundreds of results, the first being a blog post by the lawyer Chen Guangwu (陈光武)  entitled "Some Thoughts On Wang Cheng's Bring Suit Claiming National Leaders Elections' Were Unconstitutional and Invalid." (王成诉国家领导人选举违宪和无效案之思考)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Film Regulator Promotes and Guides State-Sponsored Television Documentaries

On January 17, 2013, the state-sponsored China Daily published an article entitled "CCTV Releases Documentary on Tibetan Self-Immolation." The report stated:
National broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) has released a documentary on self-immolation in the country's Tibetan-inhabited areas. The documentary debuted at 9:27 pm on Dec 23 on CCTV-4, an international channel mainly targeting overseas viewers in Chinese language. It also aired on CCTV's English channel, Spanish channel, French channel, Arabic channel and Russian channel on Monday.
On January 22, the China Daily published an article entitled "Govt-Sponsored Documentary Website Launched."  According to that report:
Jointly set up by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) and the China Network Television, the site will cover policy releases, industrial trends, expert advice for documentary makers, project financing, academic research and other functions.
On February 23, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "SARFT to Approve Documentaries." Some excerpts:
The new policy, which comes into effect immediately, stipulates that all television documentaries for public broadcast, produced by television stations, commercial studios and social organizations, should submit a content summary, cast list and shooting plan to SARFT before filming starts.
SARFT will then review all the information and publish the approved list of documentaries to TV stations. According to the announcement, the purpose of the new policy is to avoid subjects overlapping and resources being wasted.
Here is a translation of an excerpt from SARFT's "Notice Regarding the Implementation of a Television Documentary Subject Matter Reporting System" (关于实行电视纪录片题材公告制度的通知):
Article 3. SARFT shall conduct an analysis of national television documentary subject matter information, and after communicating and coordinating with production companies, will formulate and publish a "National Television Documentary Subject Matter Catalog."
Article 4. The television documentaries produced by State-owned enterprises and their production companies listed in the "National Television Documentary Subject Matter Catalog" will have priority in participating in SARFT's review for promotion as outstanding State-produced films and annual outstanding state-produced documentaries and for support projects for their creative personnel.

Translation: Film Regulator's Order to Promote Lei Feng Flops

On Thursday, March 7, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published a report entitled "Despite Orders Lei Feng Films Bomb." Some excerpts:
Films about the life of Lei Feng, a role model for selflessness in China, showed no box-office appeal on Tuesday, Lei Feng Day. 
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said on Monday that all film companies and cinemas need to try their best to promote three recently released  movies featuring the iconic Lei Feng.
. . . .
The three films about Lei Feng's life, Youthful Days, The Sweet Smile, and Lei Feng in 1959, were screened on Monday and Tuesday, as part of the learning from Lei Feng activities.
Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong's call for the country to learn from Lei Feng. Mao's famous slogan stirred generations of do-gooders.
Lei was a young soldier known for his selfless devotion to helping others, he died at age 21 in 1962.
"We planned to show Youthful Days twice a day from Monday, but had to cancel all of the screenings as nobody showed up to buy tickets," a staff member surnamed Liu, at a box office of a cinema in Liaocheng, Shandong Province, told the Global Times Wednesday.
. . . .
"I think the poor box office result doesn't mean society has forgotten the spirit of Lei Feng, because you can still see a lot of people doing good deeds, such as getting involved in charity and volunteer work," Zhang Yiwu, professor and deputy director of the Cultural Resources Research Center of Peking University, told the Global Times.
Here is a translation of the SARFT order:
Notice Regarding Carrying Out Distribution and Screening of "Lei Feng's Youthful Days," "Lei Feng's Sweet Smile," and "Lei Feng in 1959" 
1. Carrying out the distribution and screening of "Lei Feng's Youthful Days," "Lei Feng's Sweet Smile," and "Lei Feng in 1959" is a concrete expression of implementing the Spirit of the 18th Party Congress, and all Radio, Film and Television Administrations and related film enterprises shall fully appreciate this important duty, bear in mind their responsibilities, painstakingly plan, and do everything possible to make use of the ability of film to teach through entertainment so that the entire society can create a new surge of study of Comrade Lei Feng and create a good cultural environment and atmosphere. In order to expand the audiences for screening, actively expand the social impact of the moive, and ensure the movie's ability to eductate, guide, and impel, you shall use multiple methods such as screenings in theaters, booking groups, and travelling screenings in the countryside. 
2. All distribution companies and theaters shall actively formulate plans for propaganda, distribution, and screenings, and provide copies of the films and propaganda memoriabilia sufficient to satisfy market demands, and attract larger audiences to come to the theater through group tickets or specially priced tickets and high quality service. You shall fully utilize theaters' large cinemas, electronic screens, and promotional displays to carry out propaganda work for the films and ensure the films are shown over a sufficient time with a sufficient number of showings. 
3. Relevant movie production enterprises shall actively cooperate with the films' propaganda distribution and screening work, and actively organize promotional activities for the films' production companies and creative personnel, and promptly screen the film in the countryside and provide the materials needed for dubbing the film in minority languages. 
4. The Film Digital Programming Management Center shall actively provide information to rural digital film companies and projection teams in order to satisfy the needs of film screening in the countryside.

5. The Film Channel Programming Center and all film media shall coordinate with the films' propaganda distribution and screening, and actively engage in the work of propaganda to promote the film, bring about correct guidance of public opinion, and further promote the films' social impact and dissemination.

6. The China Film Distribution and Screening Association shall fully bring into play the utility of the industry association, coordinate screening schedules, propaganda strategies and actively provide service to members. It shall strengthen industry oversight, pay attention to market information, and provide status briefings to industry insiders. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

News Web Sites and Weibos Censor Story on One School's "Internet Red Army"

Deleted Southern Metropolitan
Daily Story on "Internet Red Army"

On March 19, 2013, the state-sponsored Southern Metropolitan Daily published an article entitled "Baiyun Institute Establishes 'Internet Red Army' to Monitor Students' Weibos, Report Public Sentiment and Block Incorrect Public Opinion, Participants Earn 200 Yuan a Month" (白云学院组建“网络红军”监控学生微博 汇报舆情抵制错误舆论,兼职学生每人每月200多元报酬). Some excerpts:
At the end of 2010, the Baiyun Institute established an "Internet Public Opinion Information Oversight Working Group" which, according to a description by a school official, was intended to address the new problems the school was having with controlling public sentiment on campus, the proliferation of all kinds of harmful information, and the new challenges to students' political ideology work and school security and safety brought about by the rise of Weibos. The Baiyun Institute therefore established 116 Weibo groups and a "Baiyun Red Army" QQ group, which over the last three years has responded to various Internet information with over 100,000 posts.
. . . .
Currently the "Baiyun Red Army" is composed of nine full-time faculty and six part-time students, with the students coming from six of the schools institutes. New members must be recommended by senior members, and pass an interview with the school and other qualifications.
. . . .
The criteria for getting a position on the Working Group include "First, having good grades, and second a firm political ideology position." Huang Yumei said "Participating student must have a very firm viewpoint, otherwise, when they run into certain negative situations, if they also approve of the circumstances, they won't be able to speak reasonably on behalf of the school, and that would simply make them unsuited for requirement of this position."
. . . .
The work of overseeing Internet public sentiment requires the "Baiyun Red Army" members to sift through an enormous amount of information and provide timely reports. Currently the scope of their oversight encompasses 116 Weibo groups associated with the Baiyun Institute as well as the personal Weibos of certain students.
. . . .
With respect to hot topics that become the focus of student attention, the "Red Army Soldiers" will search Sina Weibo, Tencent Weibo, and Baidu PostBar for keywords, and every Friday afternoon summarize the public sentiment information in a report, which they provide to the school.
. . . .
"We use public sentiment oversight to understand how students are thinking, and when there is something that needs improvement, for example issues with food quality in the cafeterias, after we become of aware of it we fix it in a timely manner." Huang Yumei said that, with respect to negative statements about the school on Baidu PostBar, the "Red Army Soldiers" will make a response as soon as its discovered, "safeguarding the school's image is our responsibility and our duty."
2010年末,广东白云学院组建“学生工作网络舆情信息监控小组”,学校相关负责人介绍,微博的出现给校园舆情控制带来新课题,各种不良信息满天飞,给学生思想政治工作和校园安全稳定带来了新的挑战。为此,白云学院先后创建了116个微博群和“白云红军”Q Q工作群,3年来总计回复各项网络信息10万余条。
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
. . . .
This screenshot was taken on March 22, and shows that the story had been deleted from the Southern Metropolitan Daily's web site.

Original URL:

On March 20, 2013, the state-sponsored Yancheng Evening News published an article entitled "Guangdong's Baiyun Institute Creates Waves With Its 'Internet Red Army' Overseeing Student Weibos" (广东白云学院“网络红军”监控学生微博掀波澜).

These screenshots were taken on March 22, and show that the story had been deleted from Yangcheng Evening News' web site, as well as from the Sina News web site, where it had been reposted.

Original URLs:

These screenshots were also taken on March 22, and show that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo were censoring searches for "Internet Red Army." (网络红军)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Global Times Editor Hu Xijin Wants People to Know His Friends Haven't Heard of Tibetan Author Woeser

Hu Xijin's Weibo Post
On March 9, 2013, Hu Xijin (胡锡进), an editor at the state-sponsored Global Times, posted the following on his Sina Weibo:
The United States State Department issued its "International Women of Courage Award," and one of the winners was a Chinese woman who is an ethnic minority "woman author" who encourages ethnic separatism. It seems there's not a single person in my circles who has heard of her. China has so many "courageous" women, does anyone believe that the US State Department selected this one with good intentions? With exchanges between China and the West being so close, much has been learned, but Western "intentions" are legion, and China needs to be more focused. 
Like Hu's post, the Global Times' March 8 editorial entitled "Foreign Infiltration Still Deserves Measure of Chinese Caution" also mentioned the award but omitted the winner's name. An excerpt:
The US Department of State just named 10 winners of the 2013 International Women of Courage Award, including a Chinese woman. There are numerous outstanding Chinese women who have demonstrated courage and made contributions during reform and opening-up. But Washington picked a "writer" who advocates secessionism. 
Many Western prizes have apparently become ideological weapons against China, and the stories of these handpicked prizewinners depict a twisted version of China. These prizes, aimed at encouraging various "dissidents," signal Western support for political confrontation within China.
Here is an excerpt from the State Department's profile of the "Chinese woman":
Tsering Woeser (Wei Se)‎
Tibetan author, poet, and blogger
In a period marked by increasing self-immolations and protests in Tibetan areas of China, Tsering Woeser has emerged as the most prominent Mainland activist speaking out publicly about human rights conditions for China's Tibetan citizens. Born in Lhasa, Tsering Woeser's website, Invisible Tibet, together with her poetry and non-fiction and her embrace of social media platforms like Twitter, have given voice to millions of ethnic Tibetans who are prevented from expressing themselves to the outside world due to government efforts to curtail the flow of information.
This screenshot was taken on March 12, and shows that a Baidu News search for "Woeser International Women of Courage Award" (唯色 国际妇女勇气奖) returned no results.

This screenshot, also taken on March 12, shows that a search for "Woeser Invisible Tibet" (唯色 看不见的西藏) also returned no results, just a censorship notice.
The Global Times was not always unwilling to mention Woeser's name. Here is an excerpt from a 2011 article entitled "Tibet Seeks to Balance New and Old Values."
Tibet's economy has grown very fast during the past years, thanks partly to the completion of a railway to Lhasa and large mining projects. The region has seen a double-digit rise in GDP for the past eight years, with an average annual growth rate of 12.4 percent, according to Tibet's 2011 regional government work report. 
In the next five years, the central government will invest 300 billion yuan in Tibet, Hao Peng, deputy governor of the autonomous region, announced on September 12.
As Tibet's prosperity grows, the government believes that hearts and minds will follow, but modernization still represents a serious challenge for some.  
"Some ethnic Tibetans think much of the investment is designed to benefit a flood of Han immigrants, fearing that they will be left out of economic growth," Woeser, a Tibetan writer and poet, told the Global Times.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

China's Search Engines Censor Searches Relating to 1959 Tibet Incident

According to an article entitled "Origin of the Name of Tibet" posted on the web site of the state-sponsored China Tibet Information Center:
In the Tang Dynasty, the Tibetans called themselves "Bo." The earliest written record of "Tubo" in Chinese can be found in the The Chronicles of Tubo in the New History of the Tang Dynasty. Af first, Tubo referred to the area of present-day Tibet. Later, with the burgeoning of the Tubo Kingdom, the name referred to the area comprised of Tibet, Qinghai, and Xikang. Eventually, the entire Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was called Tubo.
According to an article entitled "The Truth About the 1959 Tibet Rebellion" posted on the web site of the Communist Party sponsored China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification (中国和平统一促进会):
Shortly after 8:00 am on March 10, 1959, chaos broke out on the streets of Lhasa. People were running around tearfully telling each other, “Go to the Norbu Linkha and protect the Dalai Lama. The Han people are going to take him away.” To the Tibetan people, who are devout Buddhists, this cry was like a bomb going off. Thereupon, people rushed to the Norbu Linkha with their hearts filled with shock, perplexity and terror. They surrounded it in the name of protecting the Dalai Lama, thereby lifting the curtain on armed rebellion. This situation rapidly developed into the full-scale armed rebellion now known as the March 10, 1959 Incident.
These screenshots were taken on March 11, 2013, and show that searches for "Tubo Rebellion" (图博抗暴) on Baidu, Qihoo 360, Soso, and returned no results, just censorship notices.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Web Sites Block Reporting and Discussion of Xi Jinping's Election Results

Phoenix News reports there was one vote against Xi Jinping

On March 15, 2013, the state-sponsored China Daily published an English language article entitled "Xi Chosen as President of China." An excerpt:
Nearly 3,000 deputies to the National People's Congress elected Xi Jinping, leader of the ruling Communist Party of China, as president through a secret ballot at a plenary meeting in Beijing on March 14. 
The elevation of Xi to the presidency marked the official transfer of power from Hu Jintao.
Xi took over as the head of the Communist Party and its military commission from Hu at a quinquennial Party congress in November last year.
The same day, the state-sponsored Global Times published an English language article entitled "President Xi Takes Reins." An excerpt:
China's top legislature Thursday elected Xi Jinping as president of the country, capping off his appointments as chief of the Party, state and military following a once-in-a-decade leadership transition. 
Nearly 3,000 deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) voted for Xi, 59, who was also elected chairman of the country's Central Military Commission.
Neither article explained what "nearly 3,000" meant. The official Chinese news agency Xinhua's report also made no mention of Xi's margin of victory, or whether there were votes against him.

These screenshots, taken on March 15, shows that within hours of the announcement Sina Weibo began censoring searches for "voted against." (反对票)

Various foreign media outlets reported, however, that 2,952 delegates voted in favor of Xi, and only 1 against, with 3 abstentions, and that this 99.86% margin was slightly greater than the 97.62 per cent won by Bashar al-Assad's 97.62% margin in Syria in 2007, but shy of Kim Jong-il's 99.98% in North Korea in 2009.

This screenshot, also taken on March 15, shows that Sina Weibo was also censoring searches for "2,952 votes." (2,952票)

This screenshot, also taken on March 15, shows that a search on Baidu News for "Xi Jinping 2,952" (习近平 2,952) returned no results.

Finally, this screenshot, also taken on March 15, shows that Phoenix News had removed an article entitled "Xi Jinping Gets 99.86% of the Vote, Li Yuanchao Gets 96%" (习近平得票率为99.86% 李源潮得票率为96%) which was originally available at this URL - - now redirects users to a 404 Page Not Found error message.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stories of Infant's Murder and Changchun's Skynet Get Censored

On March 6, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "Car Theft Ends with Baby Strangled." Some excerpts:
A man who stole a car with a 2-month-old boy inside in Changchun, Jilin Province, confessed to police late Tuesday afternoon he had murdered the infant.
Zhou Xijun, 48, stole the SUV on Monday morning, triggering a province-wide manhunt involving 3,500 police officers.
The case sparked public outcry as soon as it was reported by local media, with many Web users on microblogging service Sina Weibo urging each other to help find the baby.
That same day, Weibo users began posting what was claimed to be a notice issued by the Jilin Propaganda Department entitled "Changchun Municipal Media Reporting Requirements in the March 4 Case" (3.04案件省直及长春市媒体报道要求). An excerpt:
Guide the masses to an awareness not only of the pity they should feel for infant in its misfortune, and the anger they should direct toward the criminal's wicked conduct, but also of the deep care and positive accomplishments the police demonstrated in resolving the case with respect to the public's well-being, property and security. Communicate the love and care of society and be a vehicle for society's positive energy, encouraging people to continue to treasure these social riches. Television and radio should express this content through news anchors broadcasts and brief editorials, and while strictly controlling their total output, newspapers can cover this story with their own reports, expressing the true sentiments that people share and communicate positive energy.
These screenshots show that on March 7, Tencent Weibo began censoring searches for "Changchun Prohibition Order" (长春 禁令).

These screenshots, also taken on March 7, show that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Changchun Prohibition Order" (长春 禁令) and "Changchun Demands Reporting" (长春 报道要求).

The Propaganda Department's alleged order also contained this statement:
The media must insist upon positive propaganda, and under no circumstances cast suspicion or criticism on the polices' handling of the case. Do not paint the Skynet Project in a negative light, and do not repeatedly interview the victim's family or other related parties.
On March 6, the state-sponsored Caijing Magazine had published an article entitled "ZTE Accused of Creating a Tofu Dregs Construction, Changchun's Skynet Project a Blind Person With Eyes Wide Open" (中兴通讯被指承建豆腐渣 长春天网工程成睁眼瞎). The article, which was originally available here -,  was quickly deleted. Some excerpts:
Internet users have expressed doubts regarding Changchun's 100 million + yuan "penetrating gaze" construction - the Skynet Project, which during the resolution of this case became a "blind person with eyes wide open." Could it be just another "tofu dregs" project?
According to an August 2010 Xinhua report, Changchun launched the second stage of its "Skynet Project" on August 11, with Changchun ZTE being the sole contractor. Three years after completion of the second stage, Changchun was to achieve complete surveillance coverage of every work unit and intersection. Currently, Changchun has already has 58,000 surveillance devices, with the number expected to reach 60,000 by year's end.
This screenshot shows that the article was also deleted from other website whwer it was reposted, such as the state-sponsored Xinmin News, where it was originally available here -

On March 10, QQ published an article on its Today Topic section entitled "Why Didn't the 'Skynet Project' Ensnare an Infant's Murderer?" (“天网工程”为何没有网住杀婴嫌犯). Some excerpts:
The primary mission of the "Skynet Project" is not to address common criminal cases. 
Its impossible to talk about the "Skynet Project" without also discussing the "Stability and Security Construction Project." The latter was a public security project launched in 2004. In order to build a harmonious society, the central government proposed launching in-depth "stability and security construction" nationwide, and the "Skynet Project" is an important  part of the realization of "Stability and Security Construction," to the point where people will sometimes directly refer to the "Skynet Project" as the "Stability and Security Project." In 2005, the Party's Central Politics and Law Commission issued the Opinion Regarding Deepening Stability and Security Construction," which set forth the primary goals and missions of stability and security construction: first, the early detection, comprehensive control, and effective disposition of infiltration by hostile forces and illegal activities of "Falun Gong" and other evil cults, in order to guard against the occurrence of situations that would seriously threaten national security and political stability. Second, comprehensively prevent and decrease contradictions and disputes, endeavor to bring about reconciliation of non-harmonious factors, and prevent the occurrence of large-scale mass incidents that severely threaten social stability. Third, safeguard public order in towns and villages. Fourth, prevent and reduce large scale production accidents. Fifth, investigate economic crimes in accordance with the law. It can be seen that the primary mission of "Stability and Security Construction" is "maintaining stability." Stability maintenance has been made the top priority for every "Stability and Security Construction." For example, the number one priority task in the "Henan Stability and Security Construction Program (2006-2010) was "actively prevent and appropriately handle mass incidents." 
Therefore, as a means of achieving "Stability and Security Construction," the "Skynet Project's" primary mission is "maintaining stability."  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

News Sites and Sina Weibo Censor Reports of Violence in Korla, Xinjiang

On March 8, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an English language report entitled "Foreign Infiltration Still Deserves Measure of Chinese Caution" stating:
During Thursday's knife attack in Korla, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, four were killed and several were injured. . . . For generations, Xinjiang's borders have halted turbulences originating from outside. The Chinese people need to know what peace in Xinjiang means to China as a whole." 
That same day, the state-sponsored Caijing Magazine published a report on its web site entitled "Four Dead and Eight Wounded In Attacks in Korla, Xinjiang, During the Two Sessions" (两会期间新疆库尔勒发生袭击事件致4死8伤). An excerpt:
Today, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region spokesperson Hou Handun, who happened to be in Beijing for the opening of the National People's Congress, confirmed that the previous day attacks had occurred that left four dead and six people wounded.
By 4:00 pm the report had been deleted from Caijing's web site. These screenshots show that it had also been deleted from the Phoenix and Tencent web sites (the Google preview shows Phoenix is redirecting users to their home page, while QQ is redirecting users to a "404 page not found" message).

Original URLs:
These screenshots show that another article on the incident entitled "Another Incident of Uighurs Stabbing Han Occurs During the Two Sessions, Women's and Children's Throats Cut, Children Murdered" (两会期间新疆再次发生维族刀手砍杀汉人 割女子喉、殺小孩) and posted on the state-sponsored Feiyan Military Affairs web site, was also deleted.

These screenshots show that Sina Weibo was deleting posts that mentioned the story.

This screenshot, taken on March 8, shows that Sina Weibo was censoring searches for "Uighurs stab Han Chinese." (维族砍汉人)

These screenshots, also taken on March 8, show that Baidu was banning users from setting up PostBar (贴吧) forums under the heading "Uighur" (维吾尔族 维族).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Protest, Another Village Disappears From China's Weibos - Shangpu, Guangdong

Photos from NPR's Weibo post

On March 4, 2013, the state-sponsored Global Times published an English language report entitled "Village Head Orders Attack, as Local Thugs are Hunted." Some excerpts:
The public security bureau of Jiexi county in Guangdong Province arrested eight people Friday suspected of being hired by a village leader to attack his own villagers after he claimed he was attacked by them, the Nanfang Daily reported.
County authorities said that on the morning of February 22, village committee director, Li Baoyu, called police to report he was attacked in his office and injured by six masked thugs. Less than an hour later, police say, Li hired his own thugs from other villages and ordered them to attack residents of Shangpu village, said the newspaper.
. . . .
It is not entirely clear what caused the clash, but according to AFP it was triggered by a controversial land deal that would turn some of the village's rice fields into an industrial zone.
These screenshots show that both Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo began censoring searches for "Shangpu Village" (上浦村) on March 6.

Before Sina started censoring searches the top result was a March 5 post from National Public Radio which read:
[Chinese Farmers Revolt Against Government Land Grab] On February 22, a group of thugs rushed into Shangpu Village, intending to intimidate villagers into handing over their land. The villagers said that the land been transferred under unclear circumstances from the village cadres to business people with whom their were colluding. Villagers were demanding to chose their own leaders through democratic elections, and hoped the government could pay attention to the people's land problems.
【Chinese Farmers Revolt Against Government Land Grab】2月22日,一伙暴徒闯入广东上浦村,企图威胁村民交出自己的土地。民众称土地在不知情的情况下被村干部低价转让给与其勾结的商人。村民呼吁通过民主选举方式选出自己的领导,并希望政府可以重视关乎民生的土地问题。

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sina Deletes Taiwan Politician's Weibo Account, Baidu Censors Related Searches

A Baidu search for the title of the Nandu article
returns no results, just a censorship notice.
On February 20, 2013, the state-sponsored Nandu Net (南都网) published an article entitled "Former DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh's Weibo Shut Down One Day After Verification" (台前民进党主席谢长廷微博认证仅一天被注销). Some excerpts:
Frank Hsieh, former Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, opened a Weibo on mainland China's Sina web site, becoming the first heavyweight figure under the Green banner to open an account from across the straight. He accumulated over 50,000 followers. One Internet user spoke frankly: "Xie Changting has come to test mainland China's bottom line on expression." Shortly thereafter, after only one day of its real name verification, Hsieh's Weibo account was quickly cancelled. The actual reason remains unclear, and its being widely discussed amongst Internet users.
Here are two of Hsieh's Weibo posts:
Constitutional government is a global trend, so most major countries all have constitutions, but in some countries the constitutions are only used during exam time, and are not actually implemented. Some countries only implement a portion of their constitutions, and typically the portions that are not implemented are those that impose restrictions on the government. This is the source of people's suffering.
Whether or not there is freedom of speech is not a matter of looking at whether one has the freedom to speak in criticism of official power, but whether after one ha finished speaking one loses one's liberty.
On March 27, China's state run media reported that when a reporter asked about Hsieh's account being shut down during a press conference, Fan Liqing (范丽青) spokeswoman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office replied: "We have said repeatedly that, with respect to the Internet, mainland China has relevant administrative measures, and everything is handled according to laws and regulations." (我们曾多次讲过,对于互联网,大陆有相应的管理办法,一切依法、依规办事)。

This screenshot, taken on February 21, shows that Baidu had banned users from setting up PostBar (贴吧) forums under the heading "Frank Hsieh."
This screenshot, taken on March 6, shows that Baidu had banned users from setting up PostBar forums under the heading "Taiwan."

These screenshots, also taken on March 6, show that, while Baidu was returning apparently uncensored results for searches for "Frank Hsieh," it was restricting search results for "Frank Hsieh Weibo" to a white list of about a dozen web sites controlled by the central government and the Communist Party.

Translation: Xu Zhiyong's Statement in His Own Defense

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