Showing posts from November, 2014

Placing the Claims Made About the Wuzhen Global Internet Conference in the Context of Current Chinese Internet Company Practices

In a Chinese language editorial published on November 20, 2014 entitled “Looking at Wuzhen, Does China’s Internet Look ‘Localized’?” ( 从乌镇看中国互联网像“局域网”吗 ) the Global Times said: Westerners cling with a death grip to the perception that people must put a political hat on the inconsistencies between China's and the West's approach to Internet management. They are too lazy to gain a deeper understanding of what China and the rest of the world put on display. 断然给中国与西方不太一致的网络监管扣政治帽子,这是一些西方人死抱老观念,懒于深入了解中国及其他外部世界的表现。 In the spirit of helping lazy Westerners gain a deeper understanding of what China is putting on display, the following context is offered for statements by government officials and the state run media regarding the recently-concluded Wuzhen World Internet Conference: Official Statement: President Xi Calls for "Democratic" Internet Governance In his " Message of Congratulations " ( 世界互联网大会贺词 ) to the Conference President Xi Jinping said: Fol

Baidu Censors Information About Political Figure's Suicide (Again)

On November 17, 2014, the website of the Beijing Youth Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Youth League committee in Beijing, published an article entitled “Hong Kong Media: PLA Navy Deputy Commissar Ma Faxiang Died After Jumping From a Building” ( 港媒:海军副政委马发祥跳楼身亡 ). It was deleted within hours. The Beijing Youth Daily article as cached by Baidu before it was deleted. Shortly after the Beijing Youth Daily article was deleted, the China Daily published an article entitled “PLA Navy Deputy Commissar Ma Faxiang Died After Jumping From a Building, Was Engaged in Public Activities Last Month” ( 海军副政委马发祥跳楼身亡 上月公开活动 ) The China Daily article. These screenshots show that, about the same time the Beijing Youth Daily article was deleted, Baidu began restricting search results for “Ma Faxiang Suicide” (马发祥 自杀) and “Ma Faxiang Jumped” (马发祥 跳楼) to a strict white list of about a dozen website operated by the central government and Communist Party (which includes the China Dai

Baidu, Sina, and Tencent Promise to Enforce Real Name Registration for Online Comments, Ask Users to Abide by the Socialist System

On November 6, 2014, China’s official news agency Xinhua published an article entitled “ Chinese Websites Promise to Tighten Comments Management .” Some excerpts: Twenty-nine major Chinese websites have promised to better manage the comments of their users as authorities call for a clean Internet.  Representatives from the 29 web portals, including,, and the official website of Xinhua News Agency, signed the letter of commitment at a meeting organized by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC - 国家互联网信息办公室) on Thursday.  These websites promised to ensure that "their users register, post and write comments with their real identity," according to the commitment letter.  They also "promise to and sincerely ask all users to consciously abide by the 'seven bottom lines' -- law and rules, socialist systems, national interests, citizen's legitimate rights, social public order, morality and authenticity of information -- when

Reports on Xi Jinping Statement on Foreign Journalist Visas Disappear From State Media

On November 12, 2014, New York Times reporter Mark Landler asked President Xi Jinping : Several news organizations from the United States have had issues with residency permits in China being denied, including The New York Times.  I’m wondering in the spirit of these reciprocal visa arrangements that you’ve agreed to this week with business people and students, isn’t it time to extend that sort of right to foreign correspondents who seek to cover your country? President Xi responded: And China protects our citizens' freedom of expression and the normal rights and the interests of media organizations in accordance with law.  On the other hand, media outlets need to obey China's laws and regulations.  When a car breaks down on the road, perhaps we need to get off the car to see where the problem lies.  And when a certain issue is raised as a problem, there must be a reason.  In Chinese, we have a saying:  The party which has created a problem should be the one to help resol

Free Speech with Mainland Chinese Characteristics as Metaphor: Cars, Tigers, Shoes, Water & Guests (But No Shields)

Fang Binxing: Its Like Bringing Water on a Plane On February 18, 2011, the English language website of the Global Times (published by the People's Daily) published an article about Fang Binxing (方滨兴) entitled "Great Firewall Father Speaks Out." It was originally here - - but was subsequently deleted. It remains available here: According to Fang: The firewall monitors them [websites] and blocks them all. It's like when passengers aren't allowed to take water aboard an airplane because our security gates aren't good enough to differentiate between water and nitroglycerin. Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson: Its Like Going to Battle Without a Shield During the Ministry's regularly schedule press conference on March 3, 2011, foreign journalists asked Ministry of Forei

Baidu Begins Censoring "Putin Peng Liyuan" After Internet Users Praise "Ironman" For Putting Coat Over First Lady's Shoulders

On November 11, 2014, China's official news agency Xinhua published an article entitiled "Ironman Putin Drapes a Coat Over Shoulders of China's First Lady Peng Liyuan, Internet Users Praise Putin's Chivalry" (硬汉普京为中国第一夫人彭丽媛披外套,网友称赞普京好绅士). These screenshots show that the following day the article was deleted and replaced with a notice saying: “Apologies! The Article you are looking for has already been deleted or expired.” (抱歉!您查看的是已删除或过期的稿件) Original URL: These screenshots show that, at the same time the Xinhua article was deleted, Baidu began censoring search results for “Putin Peng Liyuan.” (普京 彭丽媛). For another example of Baidu censoring news about the wife of China's president Xi Jinping, see Peng Liyuan Takes Photo With iPhone, China's Major Web Sites Censor "Peng Liyuan iPhone

Deleted China Daily Report Says Facebook, YouTube Refuse to Delete Terror Material. Here’s How Baidu and Others Handle It

On October 2, 2014, the state sponsored China Daily published an article entitled “ Facebook, YouTube Refuse to Delete Terror Material .” Some excerpts: In a campaign aimed at cracking down on online content with porn, scams, terrorism and violence, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center received complaints about videos that promote jihad from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement - part of an international terrorism network listed by the United Nations Security Council - in the world's largest tech and social media websites including Facebook and YouTube.  Facebook and YouTube have made little effort to delete such information and hardly any content has been removed since its report of these gruesome videos, said the organization under the Internet Society of China. . . . . Wang Xin, an analyst from the Internet Society of China, said sophisticated strategies used by terrorist groups should prompt government departments to work even closer with social media c

China/Japan Officials Talk Senkakus/Diaoyus, Baidu Bans Forum on "Senkakus," Allows Forum on "Diaoyus"

On November 7, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an editorial entitled “China-Japan Easing a Welcome Surprise.” An excerpt: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with Japan's visiting National Security Advisor Shotaro Yachi on Friday and reached a four-point consensus on improving China-Japan relations. . . . . The four-point agreement is a result of China's persistent struggle with Japan without compromise in the past two years. Now that Japan has agreed to sit down with China to talk about crisis management, it is equal to admitting that the disputes over the Diaoyu Islands' sovereignty have become the new reality. These screenshots were taken on November 9, 2014, and show that Baidu has allowed users to establish a “Diaoyu Islands” (钓鱼岛) PostBar (Tieba 贴吧) forum, but bans users from establishing a “Senkaku Islands” (尖阁诸岛) forum. In September 2012, following prolonged massive protests in front of the Japanese embassy in Beijing, Baidu posted a do

Translation: Self-Discipline Commitment Letter on Administration of Discussion and Commentary

Self-Discipline Commitment Letter on Administration of Discussion and Commentary In order to thoroughly implement the rule-the-country-with-law spirit of the Fourth Plenum of the 18th  Party Congress and fulfill the requirements of the State Internet Information Office of "operating the Internet in accordance with the law, managing the Internet in accordance with the law, going online in accordance with the law," this website hereby publicly makes the following commitments in order to perfect administration of discussion and commentary self-discipline: 1. As used herein, discussion and commentary services refers to using online interactive publishing technology platforms to provide services to allow users to publicize comments and opinions about any kind of information published on this website (including without limitation voice, text, images, audio, and video information). 2. This website will endeavor to ensure that views exchanged in comments and opinions are civil

Internet Regulator Lu Wei: "I Believe That Some Websites May Not be Accessible"

On October 31, 2014, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “ Beijing Has ‘Never Shut Down’ Overseas Websites. ”  According to that article: China has never shut down any overseas websites and its management over websites aims to protect China's national security and consumers' interests, said Lu Wei, director of the State Internet Information Office at a press conference on Thursday. A transcript of Lu’s comments was published on the Xinhua website. Below are some excerpts: TV Asahi: I have two questions. The first is, Facebook and other Western websites are inaccessible in China, why has China shut down these websites. The second question is, in recent times there has been a clear increase in the degree of website deletions and account closures in China, and there is information indicating that the SIIO will issue administrative measures on mobile applications, does this mean that China wants to restrict online speech? In the future how will you