The Asahi Shimbun: Xi Jinping Displeased With Liu Yunshan And Propaganda Department’s Handling Of Southern Weekly Incident

Liu Yunshan and Xi Jinping
Japan’s highly respected daily The Asahi Shimbun suggested in an article on Monday that Xi Jinping was unhappy with the way the “media control division” handled last week’s Southern Weekly ordeal. Specifically, Xi was unhappy with the way Liu Yunshan, chief of the propaganda department and a longtime Hu Jintao guy, forced newspapers around the... Read more »

Taiwanese Singer Annie Yi Becomes Free Speech Champion, PRC Government Persona Non Grata

Annie Yi
Sina Weibo was recently aflutter with Yi Nengjing, also known as Annie Yi, Inō Shizuka, and formerly Wu Jingy. As Tea Leaf Nation tells us, born in 1969 to a political family, Yi has been somewhat of an atypical pop star, often clashing with media and remaining outspoken even at the cost of potential endorsements. She’s taken... Read more »

Beijing News Publisher Resignes Over Pro-Government Editorial, Southern Weekly Journalists Say They’re Going Back To Work

Via John Kennedy (
Two big Southern Weekly updates this morning. First, it appears the ripples have spread to Beijing News, a sibling publication to Southern Weekly under the ownership of Nanfang Media Group, where the top publisher has resigned instead of publishing a pro-government editorial.

Did a Sina Weibo manager just divulge company censorship practices?

The East is Read
A remarkable message was published recently on Sina Weibo, supposedly written by a company manager who goes by @geniune_Yu_Yang — an account that has since been deleted. Prompted by perceived public misunderstanding of Sina Weibo’s handling of the Southern Weekly story, the writer posted a screenshot of text that illustrated the how and why of its... Read more »

Chinese Media Ordered To “Discontinue Voicing Their Support For Southern Weekly,” Publish Global Times Editorial

China Digital Times featured image
China Digital Times, with its indispensable series on leaked directives from the “Ministry of Truth,” published this amazing leaked memo from China’s propaganda department yesterday: Central Propaganda Department: Urgent Notice Concerning the Southern Weekly New Year’s Message Publication Incident: Responsible Party committees and media at all levels must be clear on three points related to this matter:

The Latest In The Southern Weekly Protests In Guangzhou

Southern Weekend protest picture
For the first time in more than 20 years, according to SCMP, a major newspapers’s editorial staff in China has gone on strike to protest government censorship. They were on the streets this afternoon in Guangzhou, outside Southern Weekly’s offices, scattering chrysanthemums and other flowers, periodically chanting for democracy and human rights. It’s been basically peaceful... Read more »

Journalists Are Threatening Boycotts, Calling For Protests Over Southern Weekly Incident

Go Southern Weekly
It began as a strongly worded letter. When journalists at the Guangdong daily paper Southern Weekly returned to work on Thursday to find a section had been altered by a propagandist — headline changed, article replaced — they published an open letter demanding “an investigation into the incident.” They named names, in particular accusing Guangdong propaganda chief Tuo Zhen of... Read more »

Google Stops Notifying Users In China Who Search Sensitive Terms, And This Is Supposed To Matter Because?

Google don't be evil
Google, the company, has quietly stopped its practice of displaying warning messages to Chinese users who search for sensitive terms on its service. “At the same time, they deleted the help article which explained how to use the feature,” writes “This indicates a new development in the relationship between the Chinese government and Google.”... Read more »

“Censorship You Motherfucker Bitch,” Because Seriously, Fuck Censorship

Censorship video featured image
China Digital Times brings us this rap video by Gao Yuan, featuring cosplay, martial arts, and English subtitles… and the line “Go censor your own motherfucker ass.” Via CDT: Artist Gao Yuan has produced a video based on the song “Nunchaku” by Taiwanese singer Zhou Jielun (Jay Chou), rewriting the lyrics to curse government censorship.

Sina Weibo Will No Longer Post In Real-Time If It Detects Sensitive Words

Sina Weibo censorship
As China ramps up Internet restrictions, companies like Sina Weibo are demonstrating they’ve clearly gotten the message by passing on the consequences to you, the user. Via Tech in Asia: Users of Sina Weibo that mention things somewhat more controversial than cats or food might find their posts being delayed – by seven whole days. The Twitter-like Sina Weibo... Read more »

Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming On BBC Newsnight: “It Is Up To The Government To Regulate These (Internet) Users”

BBC Newsnight with Chinese ambassador
Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, went on BBC’s Newsnight yesterday to speak with presenter Gavin Esler (video in link). They discussed several issues — China will double per capita income of the people in 10 years, Diaoyu islands have belonged to to China “since centuries,” “it is up to the Syrian people to decide who... Read more »

People’s Daily editorializes on the Internet, calls it “not a space beyond the law”

The East is Read
Yesterday, People’s Daily published a front-page column calling for better behavior on the Internet, not sure whether with the window open or closed in its ivory tower. As translated by China Media Project (emphasis theirs): An open China requires a civilized and healthy online world governed by rule of law. Everyone, whether supervising government bodies... Read more »

China has upgraded its Great Firewall, frustrating VPN users to no bounds

The East is Read
Those who live in China and use a foreign-run VPN already know this, but China upgraded its firewall not long ago and is throttling access to forbidden sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, and the New York Times) in new, improved, and annoying ways. Here’s the Guardian’s much-linked-to story on the subject: China Unicom, one of the biggest... Read more »

Foreign-Run VPNs Are Officially Illegal In China, Apparently

VPN lock
This paragraph is simply THE WORST. It comes from Global Times, of course, in a story headlined, “Foreign-run VPNs illegal in China: govt” (emphasis mine): Residents in China have found logging into their Facebook and Twitter accounts increasingly difficult in recent days, after several popular VPN (virtual private network) companies have alleged that China’s Great Firewall (GFW)... Read more »

Chinese Netizens Just Realized The Real Xinhua Is On Twitter, And They’re Kind Of Pissed

Xinhua's Twitter
I have to admit, the first time I encountered @XHNews, calling itself the “Xinhua News Agency” — description, “A multimedia group, Xinhua delivers the most authoritative China news as well as fast and objective global news” — I thought it was a joke. (First tweet, March 1: “Annual sessions of China’s top legislature and political... Read more »