Posted: March 25, 2017 Filed under: Asia, China, Foreign Policy, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Beijing, Communist Party of China, Eric Shawn, Frank Lavin, Sina Weibo, video
Fmr. Amb. Frank Lavin, author of ‘Homefront to Battlefront,’ on Beijing‘s goals.
Order Frank Lavin’s book, “Home Front to Battlefront: An Ohio Teenager in World War II (War and Society in North America)” from Amazon.com
Posted: September 6, 2015 Filed under: Asia, China, Russia, War Room | Tags: Agence France-Presse, BBC, Beijing, China, Chinese military, Moscow, Red Square, Sina Weibo, Tianjin, Tverskaya, Twitter
China’s female guards of honor made their overseas debut Saturday on a military music festival staged in Moscow to celebrate the 868 years’ anniversary of the founding of the city.
A cold rain lasted throughout the parade, however, it didn’t dampen the troop’s morale as Moscow residents watched the Chinese girls in poncho striding along the historic Tverskaya Street, one of Moscow’s most visited areas.
Earlier on Friday, they attended a festival rehearsal on the Red Square. Pictures of the female soldiers’ formation soon drew many praising remarks on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
“Their bright and valiant look represents Chinese people’s heroic spirit, unity and perseverance,”@5372170258.
“Salute to China’s female soldiers,”@TOMYyuleifengtongxing.
“Our female soldiers are awesome,”@baiduanrouchang.
“The frequent exchanges between China and Russia show their close friendship,”@kexuejiahuojianzhushi.
Posted: May 23, 2015 Filed under: China, Entertainment, Space & Aviation | Tags: Architecture, Sina Weibo, Star Trek, USS Enterprise
Photos of a replica of Star Trek flagship, USS Enterprise, in south China’s Fujian Province have hit social media.
The USS Enterprise is the central starship in CBS’s fictional Star Trek. It is one of the sci-fi genre’s most iconic images.
The building is reportedly the office headquarters of a software company in Fuzhou city. It is the brainchild of a man named Liu Dajian, who is the founder and chairman of NetDragon Websoft.
It is also the only officially licensed Star Trek building on the planet.
Mr. Liu says he is a super fan of the sci-fi series. He licensed the rights to build the replica from CBS and says he spent 160 million US dollars on the project.
This story also made a buzz on Sina Weibo. As some are amazed by the life-sized USS Enterprise, many others say they are proud of the man who actually paid for the copyright, instead of making it another knockoff.
Posted: May 11, 2015 Filed under: Asia, China, Global, Mediasphere | Tags: Ahmedabad, Asia Pacific, Beijing, CCTV, China, China Central Television, Communist Party of China, President of the People's Republic of China, Sina Weibo, Twitter, Xi Jinping
Was she flaunting a luxury item on air, or just wearing something that many Chinese can afford?
“Expensive watches have become a symbol of corruption in China ever since August 2012, when netizens unearthed an image of provincial safety bureaucrat Yang Dacai smiling at the scene of a deadly traffic accident — and wearing a luxury timepiece likely beyond his modest means.”
The photos initially attracted attention as an example of an ostentatious display; a spate of news articles and Weibo media posts on May 5 accused Wang of “showing off her wealth.” Some Weibo users chimed in to criticize Wang as well. “Official media should appear thrifty,” wrote one Weibo user, arguing that the image of official media and that of the government that controls it are closely related. More than one speculated without evidence that Wang, beautiful and in her mid-20s, might be mistress to a wealthy man.
Those claims are harsh (and unsubstantiated) – but the vitriol toward China’s reviled state broadcaster is more understandable. While CCTV has often served as an important mouthpiece for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s nationwide anti-corruption crackdown, now into its third year, the state broadcaster itself has been embroiled in several scandals during that time. In July 2014, authorities unexpectedly detained one of CCTV’s most outspoken hosts, Rui Chenggang. That same month, authorities held senior CCTV executive Guo Zhenxi for suspected bribery, and in August 2014 they detained Huang Haitao, a prominent CCTV deputy director, for alleged graft.
[Read the full text here, at ForeignPolicy.com]
Expensive watches have become a symbol of corruption in China ever since August 2012, when netizens unearthed an image of provincial safety bureaucrat Yang Dacai smiling at the scene of a deadly traffic accident — and wearing a luxury timepiece likely beyond his modest means. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 5, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China | Tags: 1972 Nixon visit to China, Ahmedabad, China, Chinese Buddhism, Citric acid cycle, Facebook, Narendra Modi, Shaanxi, Sina Weibo, Tang Dynasty, Twitter, Xi Jinping, Xi'an, Xinhua News Agency
Vacationers from the People’s Republic have acquired a reputation for being unruly at times, and have lately made global headlines by attacking flight attendants, fighting in airplane aisles and opening emergency doors in non-emergency situations
Colum Murphy reports: Here’s a new addition to China’s growing list of do’s and don’ts for citizens when traveling at home and abroad: don’t snap a selfie while sitting on the head of a Red Army warrior when visiting a place that considers itself a holy land of Maoist China.
“Are these people raised by monkeys? Whatever they see at scenic spots, trees or statues, they climb up for pictures.”
— Sina Weibo user Li Biyou
That’s exactly what 18-year-old Li Wenchun did on a recent visit to what’s known as a red tourism site —and now he’s paying the price.
The incident took place in the city of Yan’an, in northern Shaanxi province, famous in Communist Party history as the endpoint of the Long March. On its website, the government of Yan’an says the city “is reputed as a world-renowned holy land of Chinese revolution,” where “tourists are organized to learn knowledge of revolutionary history and attend theme activities for traditional revolutionary education and experience broadening.”
“What an ignorant man. Without the Red Army, how can you live a happy life?”
— Another Sina Weibo user
The only things Mr. Li widened were his legs. Photographs of him circulating on the Internet show him dressed in a black shirt and trousers and wearing red sneakers, striking a pose on the heroic head of a bronze statue of a female warrior.
As a result of this stunt, Mr. Li has become one of the first Chinese to be added to a blacklist that China’s national tourism authority said earlier this year it would introduce to discourage Chinese vacationers from misbehaving while traveling. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: March 11, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, China, Entertainment | Tags: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Avengers (comics), BBC, Hulk (comics), Iron Man, Japan, London Underground, Marvel Comics, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Shanghai, Sina Weibo, Ultron
‘Geekdom is a universal language’
Event producer ReedPOP is bringing Comic Con to China this spring.
“China is a massive frontier for ReedPOP, a huge market and boundless community of fans that we are eager and enthusiastic to build events for. Geekdom is a universal language and we’re sure that the Chinese people will celebrate fan culture in their own unique and amazing ways.”
— Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP
The Shanghai Comic Convention will take place on May 16 to 17 at the Shanghai Convention & Exhibition Center, ReedPOP announced Wednesday. The inaugural Chinese Comic Con follows on the company’s growth strategy of bringing its pop culture events to international markets, including India, Singapore and Germany.
[See Avengers: Age Of Ultron Concept Art]
“China is a massive frontier for ReedPOP, a huge market and boundless community of fans that we are eager and enthusiastic to build events for,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP, in a statement. “Geekdom is a universal language and we’re sure that the Chinese people will celebrate fan culture in their own unique and amazing ways.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 9, 2015 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China, Mediasphere | Tags: Activism, App, Beijing, China, Communism, Global Times, Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China, iPhone, Liaoning, media, ProPublica, Sina Weibo, The Great Firewall, The Washington Post, Twitter
Posted: January 5, 2015 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, Censorship, China, Mediasphere | Tags: China, Chinese culture, Chinese television drama, Dramatic programming, Fan Bingbing, Hunan Television, Sina Weibo, Tang Dynasty, Wu Zetian, X-Men (film series)
China’s online community has a new meme: The chaste, and unexplainable, close-up
Lilian Lin reports:
“The Empress of China,” a popular Chinese costume drama, returned to television late last week just days after its abrupt disappearance.
“People care less about the cleavage. They are more concerned about the group of cultural gangsters that’s managing approvals.”
— Ren Zhiqiang, a Chinese property mogul and prominent online commentator
Rumors had swirled about why it was yanked from the air, and the edited shows that reappeared appeared to confirm them: Images of the actresses had been tightened to eliminate their low-cut necklines.
The anti-cleavage campaign marks the latest step in China’s tightening hold on the media. It has put limits on dating and talent shows and will more closely scrutinize foreign shows streamed online. The push – which also includes other media such as movies and the Internet — comes as Beijing calls for more positive and moral content.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, which is in charge of managing what the country watches on TV, didn’t respond to request for comments. Zhejiang Talent Film & TV Co. which produces “The Empress of China,” didn’t respond to requests for comment on Monday. People close to the company said it declined to publicly talk about this issue for fear that the show would be pulled for good. In December it said it pulled the show for technical reasons.
“Empress,” also called “The Saga of Wu Meiniang,” is about the life of a famous Tang Dynasty empress also known as Wu Zetian and played by actress Fan Bingbing. The Tang Dynasty is considered one of the most prosperous periods in China’s history, and also one of its less conservative.
The move was greeted with scorn online. “People care less about the cleavage,” said Ren Zhiqiang, a Chinese property mogul and prominent online commentator on his Weibo account. “They are more concerned about the group of cultural gangsters that’s managing approvals.”
Others pointed out that the edited images often didn’t make sense. “I collapsed when I saw the scene in which the emperor is leaning on Meiniang,” said another user, about a moment when one female character cradles the emperor to her breast. “Even [the emperor’s] face was cut out.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: December 4, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, History | Tags: Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Musée du Louvre, Paris, Rowan Atkinson, Sigmund Freud, Sina Weibo, South China Morning Post, Zhao Benshan
The identity of the sitter for the portrait hanging in Paris’ Louvre museum has long been a matter of debate. If Paratico’s theory is correct, it means the 15th-century polymath was half-Chinese.
The woman depicted in the Mona Lisa might be both a Chinese slave, and Leonardo da Vinci’s mother, according to a new theory from Angelo Paratico, a Hong Kong-based historian and novelist.
“One wealthy client of Leonardo’s father had a slave called Caterina. After 1452, Leonardo’s date of birth, she disappeared from the documents. She was no longer working there. During the Renaissance, countries like Italy and Spain were full of oriental slaves.”
The identity of the sitter for the portrait hanging in Paris’ Louvre museum has long been a matter of debate. If Paratico’s theory is correct, it means the 15th-century polymath was half-Chinese.
“Mona Lisa is probably a portrait of his mother, as Sigmund Freud said in 1910. On the back of Mona Lisa, there is a Chinese landscape and even her face looks Chinese.”
However, the historian’s claims are tenuous.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 24, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, China, Entertainment | Tags: Angelina Jolie, Beijing Film Academy, Benedict Cumberbatch, China, Gong Li, Jackie Chan, Sina Weibo, Twitter, Weibo, Yao Chen
“She has the ability to change the course of people’s lives with a click of her mouse.”
Interview with Actress Yao Chen
The Telegraph‘s Sarah Keenlyside: “Is it like having a superpower?” I ask the actress Yao Chen as she raises her coffee cup to her lips. She breaks into a broad smile as her translator explains my meaning. “I’m getting more mature,” she says, avoiding the question. “These days I am much more careful and cautious.”
Yao Chen in Syria with UNHCR
China’s Answer to Angelina Jolie
“Stories abound of children’s operations that were paid for by donations from her Weibo followers.”
One could add the word “modest” to that list, because Yao, self-effacing as she is, has more followers on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) than the population of Britain. That’s 71 million, in case you were wondering. And when five per cent of the population of one of the world’s most powerful (not to mention politically sensitive) countries is hanging on your every word, you have a lot of influence, no matter how cautious you are.
“When I was younger a family member shared the gospel with me. And over the course of that summer I read the Bible and it just answered all of the questions I had about life, so very soon after I was baptised.”
In fact, so great is that influence, she has the ability to change the course of people’s lives with a click of her mouse. Stories abound of children’s operations that were paid for by donations from her Weibo followers, of old ladies who put their entire savings into causes she supports – even of a condemned man who was suddenly hailed as a hero because of her impassioned online defence of his character (he was a friend of her father’s).
How did a nice middle-class actress conquer Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, and turn herself into one of the most influential figures in the world?
A still from Color Me Love (2010)
Posted: August 7, 2014 Filed under: Censorship, China, Dr. Strangelove's Notebook | Tags: Beijing, China, Instant messaging, Sina Weibo, South Korea, State Council Information Office, Tencent Holdings, WeChat
Beijing’s recent efforts to tighten control over the Internet have so far included a crackdown on online rumors given partial credit for prompting a mass exodus from microblogging platform Sina Weibo to private messaging services, a subsequent crackdown on Tencent’s instant messaging app WeChat (and month-long renewal), and an ongoing anti-vulgarity drive. Yesterday, China’s State Internet Information Office (SIIO) announced new rules for users of instant messaging platforms. The China Copyright and Media blog has translated the new regulations in full. From Xinhua:
The Chinese government has passed a regulation that will require users of instant messaging services to use real names when registering in an effort to hold users responsible for content.
[…] Targeting China’s 5.8 million public accounts on subscription-based mobile apps such as Tencent’s mobile text and voice messaging service WeChat, the new regulation will take immediate effect.
Registrants of public accounts are obliged to register with real names and reviewed by service providers before being qualified to release information.
“A few people are using the platforms to disseminate information related to terrorism, violence and pornography as well as slander and rumors,” said Jiang Jun, spokesman of the SIIO. “Such behaviors have raised bitter feelings among netizens.” [Source]
Read more at China Digital Times.
Posted: July 2, 2014 Filed under: Asia, China | Tags: Beijing, China, Embassy of the United States Beijing, Henan, Sina Weibo, Tiananmen Square, Twitter, Wall Street Journal, Xinyang
RocketNews24 reports: Recently, streaking and naked demonstrations have increased in popularity in China. The benefits are clear, as having pictures of naked women (and to a much, much lesser extent men) is a pretty solid way to get attention for your cause. It’s also a more peaceful form of expression that can gain sympathy from the public.
I’d gladly take my political messages from a few people who are standing naked in a park rather than say… driving around shouting through a megaphone while blasting patriotic music at full volume. On the flipside, naked protests also carry the risk of the message getting lost in a sea of people shouting, “Hey! Boobs!”
These particular boobs belong to four women aged 65, 66, 68, and 73. Sorry to dupe you like this but since you’ve already come this far, might as well listen to their story. Like other naked protest photos this one has made the rounds through China’s social networks like Sina Weibo and websites.
It shows the small band of ladies stripping down to their birthday suits with writing all over their bodies. According to various websites such as Siyibao.org they also set up placards at their protest site outside the US Embassy in Beijing, one of which featured a Chinese character referring to “injustice.”
This apparently wasn’t the first time either, as Sina Weibo users and other bloggers reported seeing them at other times and places such as the Tiananmen Square anniversary. In these instances they have also been seen getting taken away by police. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 23, 2014 Filed under: Art & Culture, Asia, China | Tags: Beijing, China, Luo, Paint, Pregnancy, Sina Weibo, Twitter
A young expectant mother named Luo Qianxi has painted pictures on her growing bump to record her pregnancy, the Chengdu Evening News reported.
Each painting takes three to five hours, and Luo uses a mirror to see what she is painting on her bump. The paints she used are specially made and don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
Painting on Luo’s belly. [Photo: Luo’s Sina Weibo page]
“With painting enriching the pregnancy, I have gotten rid of fear and am ready for my baby,” she said. Now friends have invited her to paint on their bellies.
An expectant mother named Luo Qianxi shows her works of art on the stomach featuring her unborn baby. Luo, a painter by profession, has painted pictures on her growing bump to record her pregnancy. [Photo: Photo: Luo’s Sina Weibo page] Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: February 11, 2014 Filed under: Asia, China, Crime & Corruption | Tags: CCTV, China, China Central Television, Dongguan, Sex industry, Sina Weibo, Wang Yongzhi, YouTube
chinaSMACK has an interesting collection of news images, screen caps, news links, articles. On YouTube, I found this video of a news broadcast.
CCTV Exposes Dongguan Sex Industry
Though it’s brief, and doesn’t have particularly insightful reporting, at around 43 seconds there’s a brief glimpse of just a fraction of the almost unimaginably large police force [A total of 6,525 police officers allegedly took part in a crackdown] There’s just no western equivalent for a scene like that: a prostitution raid involving thousands of law enforcement officials, and countless TV cameras capturing hundreds (or possibly dozens) of frightened, cowering hookers, hotel managers, and guests.
Check out chinaSMACK for more links, photos, news sources.
This is from the YouTube page:
Authorities in Dongguan, near Guangzhou, suspended two police chiefs and shut 12 entertainment venues allegedly involved in prostitution in a crackdown after state television reported on the sex trade in the city over the weekend.
Police detained 67 people after raiding the venues in five townships revealed by China Central Television on Sunday night, the Guangdong provincial public security department said yesterday. In two news programmes, CCTV said local police ignored prostitution in the city and allowed the industry to thrive five years after the Ministry of Public Security had conducted a crackdown. In a citywide bust after raiding the venues fingered by CCTV, authorities detained another 162 people at 39 locations.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 16, 2013 Filed under: Censorship, China | Tags: Bo Xilai, censorship, China, China Digital Times, ProPublica, Sina Weibo, Twitter, Weibo, Xu Zhiyong
ProPublica has launched an interactive feature of tens of thousands of images that have been censored from Weibo, in an effort to show what topics are likely to be targeted:
How Sina Weibo censors its users is as revealing as the content that appears on the site, and for the past five months, we’ve been watching the watchers. We’ve created an interactive feature, launching today, that allows readers to see and understand the images that censors considered too sensitive for Chinese eyes.
[…] For five months, our software has been quietly checking 100 Weibo accounts, keeping track of every post containing an image and returning repeatedly to see if those posts were deleted. Our collection has grown to nearly 80,000 posts, of which at least 4,200 — more than 5 percent — were deleted by censors.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: November 1, 2013 Filed under: China, Mediasphere, Science & Technology | Tags: Adobe Photoshop, Anhui, China, Huili County, Ningguo, Photoshop, Sichuan, Sina Weibo
Richard Silk reports: Shamed by a chorus of outrage and ridicule on social media, local officials in central China have apologized for a very shoddy piece of Photoshop work.
A picture posted online by the government of Ningguo, a small city in Anhui province, showed the deputy mayor and his colleagues towering above the city’s oldest resident while paying their respects to her at a festival earlier this month.
One-hundred-and-three-year-old Cheng Yanchun, looking smaller than a Hobbit, is squeezed into the bottom right hand corner of the image; next to her, a botched fade-out effect makes it look a little like the oversized local leaders have risen from the dead.
The picture has since been removed from the government’s website, but continues to float about on social media.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 31, 2013 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China, Crime & Corruption | Tags: Anhui, China, Communist China, Communists, Hefei University, People's Daily, Sina Weibo, Weibo, Xi Jinping, Zhang Qi
Pictures that an Internet poster on China’s Weibo microblogging site went viral when it was suggested they were of officials in Lujiang County.
Racy online photos of Chinese sex party go viral over speculation that Communist Party officials were involved
In August, 2012, China was buzzing over a trove of raunchy photos showing six people engaged in an orgy – some of whom are rumored to be high-ranking Communist Party officials, Meena Hart Duerson reported, for the New York Daily News. Whatever became of this social media scandal? Let’s revisit:
The series of 181 often graphic photos went viral last week on China’s microblogging site Sina Weibo and have now traveled around the world. [PHOTOS] In the images, which were reportedly taken around 2008, six men and women can be seen performing group sex acts as well as posing for strangely formal portrait-style photos together.
Those involved make no effort to hide their faces, smiling in group shots, including one where one of the men can be seen grabbing the breasts of the woman in front of him.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 23, 2013 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China | Tags: Chen, China, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Hunan, Shenzhen, Sina Weibo, Yongzhou
A woman reads the New Express newspaper that on October 23, 2013 carried a full-page editorial with headline “Please release our man”, in a library in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong province. AFP / Getty
Emily Rauhala reports: New Express has a message for China’s censors: We may be small, but we have backbone. On Wednesday the Guangzhou-based newspaper published a front-page call for the release of its reporter Chen Yongzhou. Chen was detained by police in Hunan province while investigating a state-linked firm. The three-character headline, ‘Please Release Him’ was printed in a large, bold font above the fold. Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post called it an “unprecedented” demand for press freedom. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 15, 2013 Filed under: Asia, China, Economics, Politics | Tags: China, Democrats, governmentshutdown, Hong Kong, Sina Weibo, Single-party state, Twitter, United States
U.S. Government shutdown highlights China’s lack of an independent civil society and balanced distribution of power
Perhaps the only people who have managed to find a silver lining in the ongoing US government shutdown are Chinese intellectuals.
Of course, Americans view the impasse as a sign of political dysfunction. But to many Chinese commentators, it also reveals certain strengths. Since the shutdown began nine days ago, Chinese social media have been full of wistful, almost admiring remarks about how the shutdown could only happen in a democratic country with a resilient economy and responsive political representation.
“The government’s closed – is this bad?” wrote Chen Zhiwu, a user on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo. “In the American system, arguments among Republicans and Democrats and the president are normal and should happen because levying taxes, incurring debts, and paying expenses involves the taxpayer’s interests and their money. So, elected representatives and the president should not treat these things lightly. To take these matters seriously is their responsibility and duty.”
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 12, 2013 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China | Tags: China, Google, Kai-Fu Lee, Lee Kaifu, Sina Weibo, South China Morning Post, Taiwan, Zhou
Ex-Google China Chief, Lee Kaifu, 51, was diagnosed with lymphoma in early September and has since remained in Taiwan to undergo chemotherapy.
In a 9,000-words-piece published on the website of “Party Building,” a magazine that claims to be overseen by China’s Central Propaganda Commission, a self-proclaimed macroeconomics analyst unleashed an all-out attack on ex-Google China chief Lee Kaifu. Titled “Ten Questions for Lee Kaifu,” the article questioned Lee’s work experience and citizenship status, accused him of forging family history, and criticized his public commentaries and political leaning.
It went so far as to query if Lee, a Taiwanese who relinquished American citizenship in 2011, is in fact ill from lymphoma, and if the purpose of his stay in Taiwan is indeed medical treatment. Lee, 51, announced that he was diagnosed with lymphoma in early September and has since withdrawn from work to undergo chemotherapy in Taiwan.
The article was first published last Tuesday but only began to gain traction on Friday, after Chinese news outlets such as Sina.com, South China Morning Post and Xinhuanet.com picked it up. In just one day, the number of search results of “Lee Kaifu and Ten Questions” on Weibo has nearly doubled to more than 130,000. Whereas most Weibo responses stood behind Lee, almost all comments marked “popular” on Sina.com, which may be more strictly censored, supported the article or demanded Lee’s response. As of today, Lee has not made any mention of the article on his Weibo account. Phone calls and an email to spokesperson Wang Chaohui at of Lee’s company went unanswered.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 5, 2013 Filed under: Censorship, China | Tags: Arab Spring, Beijing, Beijing News, China, Internet police, New York Times, Sina Weibo, Wen Jiabao
People look at laptop computers in a cafe in Beijing on May 29, 2013
AFP – China is employing two million people to keep tabs on people’s Internet use, according to state media, in a rare glimpse into the secret world of Beijing’s vast online surveillance operation.
Many of the employees are simply performing keyword searches to monitor the tens of millions of messages being posted daily on popular social media and microblogging sites, the Beijing News said.
The exact number of people employed to trawl through the Internet in a bid to prevent social unrest and limit criticism of the ruling Community party has long been the subject of speculation. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 26, 2013 Filed under: Asia, China, Crime & Corruption | Tags: Beijing, Bo Xilai, China, China Youth Daily, Shenyang, Sina Weibo, Teng Biao, Zhang
Zhang Jing carries the ashes of her husband Xia Junfeng, a 36-year-old street vendor, from Dongling Funeral Home on Sept. 26 in Shenyang, China
“Early this morning, the Court sent its people to summon me to see Xia Junfeng for the last time,” Zhang Jing, a young woman in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang, wrote on her Sina Weibo microblog account on Wednesday morning. “I feel like I’m going crazy, but I’m getting ready to go now.” Accompanied by police escorts, she then rode to the detention center where her 36-year-old husband had been held for the last four years. After they said their last goodbyes, he was put to death—marking the tragic end of case that has sparked outrage and despair across China. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 20, 2013 Filed under: Asia, Censorship, China, Global | Tags: Beijing, China, Chinese American, Gansu, Li Wenbo, Police, Sina Weibo, Yang
Weibo, China’s most popular social media site, often hosts outspoken comments. Photograph: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
Chinese authorities have detained a 16-year-old schoolboy for posting “fabricated facts” on the internet amid an extensive crackdown on the country’s relatively free-wheeling online communities.
The boy from Zhangjiachuan county in north-west Gansu province, identified only by his surname, Yang, was detained after rebuking local police on Sina Weibo, China‘s most popular microblogging service. Local authorities have accused Yang of “picking quarrels and provoking disputes”, Chinese media reported. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 16, 2013 Filed under: Censorship, China, Science & Technology | Tags: Bo Xilai, censorship, China, Harvard University, M.I.T., Sina Weibo
New research shows China’s online censorship relies on a competitive market where companies vie to offer the best speech-suppressing technology and services.
Fascinating item from Tom Simonite, MIT Technology Review: Nine years after Mark Zuckerberg quit Harvard to build Facebook, one of the university’s political science professors, Gary King, decided this year it was time to launch his own social media site. But King didn’t set up his Chinese social network to make money; instead, he wanted to get an insider’s view of Chinese censorship, which relies on Internet providers censoring their own sites in line with government guidelines. King won’t disclose his site’s URL, to protect people involved with his project. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 15, 2013 Filed under: Asia, China | Tags: Beijing, blogger, CCTV, censorship, China, Chinese American, Sina Weibo, Sunday, Twitter, Xue
CHINA STRINGER NETWORK/REUTERS – Chinese-American businessman and blogger Charles Xue appeared on Chinese state television and discussed the dangers of the Internet.
BEIJING — William Wan writes: Chinese state television on Sunday broadcast a startling video of a famous blogger in handcuffs, renouncing his Web posts and saying how dangerous the Internet would be if left uncontrolled by the government. The 10-minute news report featuring Charles Xue — a Chinese American businessman and one of China’s most popular bloggers — was the latest step in what appears to be a systematic campaign to intimidate online opinion leaders against speaking too freely or critically of the government. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 11, 2013 Filed under: China | Tags: Beijing, China, Li Hui, Reuters, Sina, Sina Weibo, Tianjin, Twitter, Xi Jinping
TIANJIN, China | Li Hui and Megha Rajagopalan write: (Reuters) – In a modern office building on the outskirts of the Chinese city of Tianjin, rows of censors stare at computer screens. Their mission: delete any post on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, deemed offensive or politically unacceptable.
But the people behind the censorship of China’s most popular microblogging site are not ageing Communist Party apparatchiks. Instead, they are new college graduates. Ambivalent about deleting posts, they grumble loudly about the workload and pay.
Managing the Internet is a major challenge for China. The ruling Communist Party sees censorship as key to maintaining its grip on power – indeed, new measures unveiled on Monday threaten jail time for spreading rumours online. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 10, 2013 Filed under: China, Japan | Tags: 2020 Summer Olympics, China, International Olympic Committee, Istanbul, Japan, Olympic, Sina Weibo, Tokyo
China Digital Times reports: As recent territorial tensions have led the relationship between China and Japan into a stalemate, how are the Chinese reacting to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics? A Global Times editorial sees the win as a “fresh chance” for Japan to undertake an overdue reflection on crimes committed during World War II: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 9, 2013 Filed under: China, Mediasphere | Tags: Beijing, China, Chinese American, Chinese Internet users, Sina Weibo, Twitter, Wuhan, Xinhua News Agency
Chinese Internet users could face three years in prison for writing defamatory messages that are then re-posted 500 times under regulations announced Monday amid a broader crackdown on “online rumours”.
Web users could also be jailed if offending posts are viewed more than 5,000 times under the new rules, which appear to be part of a controversial campaign against online chatter, which has seen companies, bloggers and journalists targeted.
China has the world’s largest population of Internet users and authorities seek to keep close control on the country’s hugely popular weibo microblog sites, where a number of officials have been exposed for corruption.
The new guidelines announced by the country’s most senior court and its top prosecuting body stipulate that netizens may be charged with defamation if “defamatory information” they post reaches the quotas on viewings or re-posts. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 6, 2013 Filed under: China, Science & Technology | Tags: Apple, China Telecom, Hong Kong, iPhone, iPhone 5, Sina, Sina Weibo, Wall Street Journal
A screenshot of a China Telecom ad for Apple’s new iPhones that was posted on Sina Weibo.
Thursday afternoon, a verified China Telecom Corp. account on Sina Corp.’s Weibo microblog put ouexpected to be announced next week.
The post, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, was quickly taken down, but not before many Weibo users took screenshots and spread wt a post advertising advance orders for the iPhone 5S and 5C, the two iPhones that are ord online. The post in part said that China would be one of the first markets to get the new iPhones, and that customers who want to get the phones on the first day possible should follow a link, which led to a preorder page splashed with photos of the new phones. The post added that though no details about the phone have yet been released, what is formally announced by Apple will be what users get.
Though the post itself has been deleted, the link for preorders still functions and now leads to astripped-down landing page that reads in large font “Looking forward to…” and then in smaller red font, “If you have more hope, please leave your name and telephone here.” Though the website does not specifically mention the iPhone, the last part of the URL reads “iphone5s.asp.”
China Telecom, citing a non-disclosure agreement with Apple, declined to comment. Apple representatives were not immediately reachable for comment. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: September 6, 2013 Filed under: China | Tags: China Central Television, Guo Bin, Hong Kong, Linfen, Shanxi, Shenzhen, Sina Weibo, Zhang
In his mother’s arms, 6-year-old Guo Bin, whose eyes were gouged out by a woman last week, thanks a man who donated money to him in a hospital in Taiyuan,Shanxi province, on Tuesday. Police identified the boy’s aunt, who has committed suicide, as the suspect, though doubts remain. [Hou Liqiang / China Daily]
Many people remain skeptical about police claims that the 6-year-old boy whose eyes were gouged out last month was the victim of his own aunt. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 31, 2013 Filed under: China | Tags: Bo Xilai, China, China Media Project, Hong Kong University, Journalism and Media Studies Centre, Marxism, Sina Weibo, Xi Jinping
Journalists take pictures and videos of a screen displaying a court’s microblog page during Bo Xilai’s trial.
China has ordered all journalists at state-run media to attend Marxism classes, the latest in a series of recent government moves to assert control over the press.
The Communist Party’s Propaganda Department is requiring the country’s entire official press corps—more than 300,000 reporters and editors—to attend at least two days of Marxist classes this month. State officials have enforced similar “press re-education” programs over the past decade. But this week’s move signals a renewed sense of urgency by authorities, who are trying hard to control the media in an era of microblogging platforms like Sina Weibo and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat, said David Bandurski, editor of the China Media Project, a University of Hong Kong project tracking Chinese media reform.
Mr. Bandurski said the core focus of the classes will likely be on the Marxist view of journalism, which instructs reporters to listen to and support the party and help guide public opinion. Accordingly, the focus for journalists will be on reminding them to help foster stability and support for the government, and to listen to senior leaders in selecting what to publish, he said.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 14, 2013 Filed under: China, Mediasphere | Tags: Asia, China, Kotaku, Sina Weibo, Twitter, Watermelon, Wenzhou, Xinhua News Agency
My first official post at China Daily Mail. I was among some bloggers invited to contribute. I’m proud to report that this completely silly news item is currently getting the most traffic at China Daily Mail. Which suggests that whack, non-serious news is as popular in China as it is here. I’m also happy to report that this week marks the ONE THOUSANDTH POST at punditfromanotherplant.com For a blog site less than a year old, that’s a nice marker. I plan to celebrate it with a slice of watermelon. Enjoy!
China Daily Mail
According to the state news agencyXinhua, the trend started in July in the city of Wenzhou when pictures of a small child in a watermelon suit appeared online. Others then followed as parents tried to outdo each other with elaborate watermelon designs.
Watermelon armour, watermelon bikinis and hula-style outfits have all made an appearance online.
Users of social media sites have embraced the idea that the fruit’s refreshing qualities when eaten could also be effective when used as an outfit.
However experts have said it is not a good idea to wear a watermelon suit for extended periods. A dermatologist told People’s Daily, that although few people are allergic to watermelon, sensitive baby skin…
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Posted: September 26, 2012 Filed under: Mediasphere, War Room | Tags: Asia, China, Japan, Senkaku Islands, Sina Weibo, Sora Aoi, World War II, Yoshiko Kawashima
Ms. Aoi is not your average retired adult film actress
A megastar throughout Asia, she boasts more than 13 million followers on Sina Weibo and is popular enough in China that the country’s film and TV regulator singled her out in announcing new restrictions on “vulgar” content in April (to which she responded with a defiant picture of herself in dress)–>
Ms. Aoi’s call for calm has certainly been heard: By Saturday afternoon, the two posts combined had been forwarded more than 110,000 times and attracted more than 150,000 comments – a viral performance even by China’s high standards.
How much of her audience got the message is another question.
To be sure, some of the actress’s Chinese fans on the site supported her, in many cases by simply forwarding or repeating the call for friendship. Others, however, were more conflicted. “Although I like you and support your work, in the end I am Chinese,” one fan wrote in response. “On territorial disputes, I will never back down!”
“I deeply suspect you’re a spy,” wrote another, perhaps thinking of the Yoshiko Kawashima, a beguiling Manchurian princess who served as a spy for the Japanese during World War II and later became a celebrity in Japanese-occupied parts of China.
Many responded with outrage — often using language not fit to publish on a family-friendly news website – but an equal number seemed keen to enjoy Ms. Aoi and have their islands, too. “The Diaoyu islands belong to China, Sola Aoi belongs to the entire world,” went one commonly repeated refrain.
“I deeply suspect you’re a spy”
A group of small, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, the Senakaku are administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan. In China, they are known as the Diaoyu islands. Tensions over the islands have been rising steadily since April, when Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara first tabled the idea of purchasing some of them from their private owners.
Ms. Aoi was not the only popular microblogger to challenge the convictions of China’s Japan-bashers in recent days…
More via China Real Time Report – WSJ…
Posted: September 23, 2012 Filed under: Mediasphere | Tags: 2005 anti-Japanese demonstrations, Anti-Japanese sentiment, Beijing, Beijing Youth Daily, China, Japan, Shaanxi, Sina Weibo
Residents take photos of a smashed up Japanese-branded car during an anti-Japan protest in Xi’an in northwest China’s Shaanxi province Saturday Sept. 15, 2012.
With an orgy of anti-Japanese demonstrations prompted by a dispute over some rocky islands in the East China Sea having recently run its course, China is now being forced to contemplate just how out-of-hand the protests became.
One of the worst examples: The case of a 51-year-old Chinese man Li Jianli who, according to the state-run Beijing Youth Daily, was beaten so brutally by an anti-Japanese mob for driving a Japanese car that he’s now partially paralyzed and can barely utter simple words like “thank you” and “hungry.
”One graphic image posted to the newspaper’s website shows a man—presumed to be Mr. Li—on the ground, blood streaming from his head as a distraught woman sitting next to him pleads with the mob.
Meanwhile, accounts of the viscous attack published on social media sites have prompted soul-searching among Chinese Internet users. Discussion of the incident was the top story on Sina Corp‘s Weibo microblogging service on Friday.
The beating took place on the afternoon of Sept. 15 in the central Chinese city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province. Mr. Li, his wife, one of his son’s and the son’s fiancée, were on their way back from a shopping trip when Mr. Li’s white Toyota Corolla was set upon by an agitated anti-Japanese mob brandishing sticks, bricks and steel implements, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.
Mr. Li’s wife urged the demonstrators not to damage the vehicle. “It was wrong of us to buy a Japanese car. We won’t buy one ever again, OK?” she was reported as saying by Beijing Youth Daily.
But the gang beat Mr. Li anyway, striking him on the head with a steel shackle and causing him to lose consciousness. Later, he was rushed to hospital where he was treated for open brain injury and then moved to an intensive care unit. He remained there until he regained consciousness three days later.Mr. Li can now move the left-hand side of his body but the right side continues to be partially paralyzed.
Although many users of Sina Weibo, which is popular among the urban and well educated, were critical of the anti-Japanese protests from the start, news that protestors severely wounded a compatriot because of the brand of car he was driving appears to have led to even stronger repudiation of the rallies.
“This is so-called patriotism? It’s pure hooliganism,” wrote one microblogger…
More >> via>> China Real Time Report – WSJ…