Blocked on Weibo

Nov 05

万鄂湘亚视 (Wan Exiang, Asia Television / Wàn Èxiāng Yàshì) refers to a reported visit that law professor and a vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court Wan Exiang made to an Asia Television office in Hong Kong. Hong Kong media photographed the unofficial, embroiled* head of ATV Wang Zheng greeting Wan and reported that Wang wined and dined his mainland friend. Furthermore, Wang supposedly ordered a number of female Miss Asia beauty pageant contestants—ATV broadcasts the annual Miss Asia pageant—to accompany them to dinner and entertain them. Though the article doesn’t go so far as to suggest anything more than singing took place, the juxtaposition of young females and a mainland Chinese legal administrator in a headline were apparently enough to land this keyword onto LINE’s bad words list.
*Wang, who is from mainland China, is not technically allowed to run ATV since ATV is a free-to-air television station in Hong Kong. Hong Kong media laws were written this way to prevent meddling by Chinese authorities—which is what Wang is alleged to have done, by promoting pro-mainland coverage, leading for calls to dismiss him and punish ATV.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

万鄂湘亚视 (Wan Exiang, Asia Television / Wàn Èxiāng Yàshì) refers to a reported visit that law professor and a vice-president of the Supreme People’s Court Wan Exiang made to an Asia Television office in Hong Kong. Hong Kong media photographed the unofficial, embroiled* head of ATV Wang Zheng greeting Wan and reported that Wang wined and dined his mainland friend. Furthermore, Wang supposedly ordered a number of female Miss Asia beauty pageant contestants—ATV broadcasts the annual Miss Asia pageant—to accompany them to dinner and entertain them. Though the article doesn’t go so far as to suggest anything more than singing took place, the juxtaposition of young females and a mainland Chinese legal administrator in a headline were apparently enough to land this keyword onto LINE’s bad words list.


*Wang, who is from mainland China, is not technically allowed to run ATV since ATV is a free-to-air television station in Hong Kong. Hong Kong media laws were written this way to prevent meddling by Chinese authorities—which is what Wang is alleged to have done, by promoting pro-mainland coverage, leading for calls to dismiss him and punish ATV.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

Nov 01

和田 暴乱 (Hotan rebellion / Hétián bàoluàn) was a series of incidents that took place in July 2011 in the Xinjiang city of Hotan. As mentioned in the previous post, the northwestern province of Xinjiang is home to many Uyghurs—an ethnic minority group in China, many of whom follow Islam—and of whom continue to suffer great hardships and discrimination at the hands of the dominant Han majority, despite the governments efforts. 
However, sometimes the government’s efforts are less than stellar: for instance, in 2011, the government sought to dissuade Uyghur women from wearing burqua-like black veiled-clothing, which they saw as radicalizing the population. This campaign was cited by some Uyghurs as what incited an allegedly suppressed protest in July 2011 and eventually led to a violent attack on a police station in Hotan later that month, where 18 Uyghurs wielding knives and homemade explosives killed two security guards before taking hostages. The attackers were eventually overpowered, and those who weren’t killed were captured and sentenced to death.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

和田 暴乱 (Hotan rebellionHétián bàoluàn) was a series of incidents that took place in July 2011 in the Xinjiang city of Hotan. As mentioned in the previous post, the northwestern province of Xinjiang is home to many Uyghurs—an ethnic minority group in China, many of whom follow Islam—and of whom continue to suffer great hardships and discrimination at the hands of the dominant Han majority, despite the governments efforts.

However, sometimes the government’s efforts are less than stellar: for instance, in 2011, the government sought to dissuade Uyghur women from wearing burqua-like black veiled-clothing, which they saw as radicalizing the population. This campaign was cited by some Uyghurs as what incited an allegedly suppressed protest in July 2011 and eventually led to a violent attack on a police station in Hotan later that month, where 18 Uyghurs wielding knives and homemade explosives killed two security guards before taking hostages. The attackers were eventually overpowered, and those who weren’t killed were captured and sentenced to death.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

维族 砍人 (Uyghurs stab people / wéi zú kǎn rén): Though China has officially recognized fifty-six native ethnic groups, all of which have an array of unique concerns and issues, the two most “problematic” for state officials are the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the Tibetans in Tibet, regions where unrest has broken out in recent years. A mix of ethnic tensions, desires for independence or greater autonomy, and increasing income inequality make these particularly volatile regions, especially as more Han Chinese migrate to Xinjiang and Tibet. Government officials have responded by investing heavily in the regions’ infrastructures and social welfare systems in a sort of effort to buy peace and acquiescence in these border provinces.
Despite these investments, Uyghurs face continued discrimination and economic hardship in the region. There have been a number of collective responses by Uyghurs, including protests and demonstrations, some of which have been violent and some of which have been branded as terrorism. Notable violent events in Xinjiang that have been blamed by authorities on Uyghur sepratists include a 2008 attack on a police station, and attacks in 2011 (in both Kashgar and Hotan) and 2013 featuring knife-wielding terrorists.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

维族 砍人 (Uyghurs stab peoplewéi zú kǎn rén): Though China has officially recognized fifty-six native ethnic groups, all of which have an array of unique concerns and issues, the two most “problematic” for state officials are the Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the Tibetans in Tibet, regions where unrest has broken out in recent years. A mix of ethnic tensions, desires for independence or greater autonomy, and increasing income inequality make these particularly volatile regions, especially as more Han Chinese migrate to Xinjiang and Tibet. Government officials have responded by investing heavily in the regions’ infrastructures and social welfare systems in a sort of effort to buy peace and acquiescence in these border provinces.

Despite these investments, Uyghurs face continued discrimination and economic hardship in the region. There have been a number of collective responses by Uyghurs, including protests and demonstrations, some of which have been violent and some of which have been branded as terrorism. Notable violent events in Xinjiang that have been blamed by authorities on Uyghur sepratists include a 2008 attack on a police station, and attacks in 2011 (in both Kashgar and Hotan) and 2013 featuring knife-wielding terrorists.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

网络封锁 (Internet block / wǎngluò fēngsuǒ) refers to the restrictions on access to sensitive websites that Chinese netizens face. Unlike the majority of the 150 words on LINE’s “bad words” list, this one doesn’t refer to any specific current event is the type of word you’d expect to find on a censorship list (because discussing the censorship system, along with pornography and protests, is almost guaranteed to be censored).
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

网络封锁 (Internet block / wǎngluò fēngsuǒ) refers to the restrictions on access to sensitive websites that Chinese netizens face. Unlike the majority of the 150 words on LINE’s “bad words” list, this one doesn’t refer to any specific current event is the type of word you’d expect to find on a censorship list (because discussing the censorship system, along with pornography and protests, is almost guaranteed to be censored).

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

Oct 31

These seven keywords are all related to former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s family wealth, which the New York Times detailed in an Oct 2012 article “Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader.”
张蓓莉200万耳环 (Zhang Peili 2 million RMB earring / zhāng bèi lì 200 wàn ěrhuán): Zhang Peili is Wen Jiabao’s wife, and by many accounts (including his own: the Wikileaks Cablegate documents state that Wen was “disgusted” by his family’s bribe-taking) she is the driver for much of the family illicit wealth. However, I’m not certain where the 2 million figure comes from (this article quotes a Taiwanese jewelry dealer who says he spotted Zhang wearing a ring worth 2 million, but I don’t see that figure cited elsewhere).
温家 戴梦得 (Wen [Jiabao] Diamond / wēn jiā dài mèng dé): Zhang Peili was once a regulator for China’s Ministry of Geology, and she used her contacts and state money to set up various diamond businesses. The New York Times article called her China’s “diamond queen.” 
温家宝 27亿 (Wen Jiabao 2.7 billion [USD] / wēnjiābǎo 27 yì): the figure mentioned in the NYT article as to the estimated wealth of Wen’s family.
影帝温家 (Actor Wen Jiabao / yǐng dì wēn jiā): the title of a critical book on Wen, "China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao" (中国影帝温家宝), which claims that Wen’s persona as a warm, caring politician is all a charade.
温家 资产700亿 (Wen Jiabao assets 70 billion / wēn jiā zīchǎn 700 yì): Not sure where 70 billion comes from, but Wen’s family does have a lot of money…
温家宝夫妇 (Wen Jiabao husband-and-wife / wēnjiābǎo fūfù): A reference to Wen and his wife Zhang Peili.
总理家人 隐秘 (Premier family secret / zǒnglǐ jiārén yǐnmì): The family’s immense wealth was once a secret that only a few insiders and journalists were aware of, but after the NYT article it is now common knowledge.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

These seven keywords are all related to former Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s family wealth, which the New York Times detailed in an Oct 2012 article “Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader.”

  1. 张蓓莉200万耳环 (Zhang Peili 2 million RMB earring zhāng bèi lì 200 wàn ěrhuán): Zhang Peili is Wen Jiabao’s wife, and by many accounts (including his own: the Wikileaks Cablegate documents state that Wen was “disgusted” by his family’s bribe-taking) she is the driver for much of the family illicit wealth. However, I’m not certain where the 2 million figure comes from (this article quotes a Taiwanese jewelry dealer who says he spotted Zhang wearing a ring worth 2 million, but I don’t see that figure cited elsewhere).
  2. 温家 戴梦得 (Wen [Jiabao] Diamond / wēn jiā dài mèng dé): Zhang Peili was once a regulator for China’s Ministry of Geology, and she used her contacts and state money to set up various diamond businesses. The New York Times article called her China’s “diamond queen.” 
  3. 温家宝 27亿 (Wen Jiabao 2.7 billion [USD] / wēnjiābǎo 27 yì): the figure mentioned in the NYT article as to the estimated wealth of Wen’s family.
  4. 影帝温家 (Actor Wen Jiabao / yǐng dì wēn jiā): the title of a critical book on Wen, "China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao" (中国影帝温家宝), which claims that Wen’s persona as a warm, caring politician is all a charade.
  5. 温家 资产700亿 (Wen Jiabao assets 70 billion / wēn jiā zīchǎn 700 yì): Not sure where 70 billion comes from, but Wen’s family does have a lot of money…
  6. 温家宝夫妇 (Wen Jiabao husband-and-wife / wēnjiābǎo fūfù): A reference to Wen and his wife Zhang Peili.
  7. 总理家人 隐秘 (Premier family secret / zǒnglǐ jiārén yǐnmì): The family’s immense wealth was once a secret that only a few insiders and journalists were aware of, but after the NYT article it is now common knowledge.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

江泽民被控制 (Jiang Zemin has been controlled / Jiāng Zémín bèi kòngzhì) and 江系军委被撤 (Jiang has been withdrawn from the Military Commission / Jiāng xì jūnwěi bèi chè) refer to the supposed sidelining of Jiang Zemin during the change in CCP leadership last year. The Epoch TImes (see caveat here about Epoch TImes and other Falun Gong-supported media), citing a Japanese source in a BBC article, asserted that Jiang’s office in the Central Military Commission, which he had once been the head of, had been shut down as of Nov 2012. Jiang was noted for being extremely influential in helping friends and colleagues rise to positions of power throughout the Chinese government, military, and courts—so much so that this group of individuals who owed their careers to Jiang’s patronage were known as the Shanghai Gang. His influence remained even after he no longer held any official offices: his last public office was as a National People Congress member in 2008.
Other Falun Gong-related media used the phrase 江泽民被控制, indicating that Hu and the incoming head of the CMC Xi Jinping had wrested control of the military from Jiang—this despite the fact that it was reported that Jiang had successfully backed Xi as the new president of China despite Hu’s support of another candidate, Li Keqiang. Of course, the Falun Gong has reason to attack and discredit Jiang any chance it can—it was the despised Jiang who initiated and led the brutal drive to eliminate the Falun Gong throughout his time in office.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

江泽民被控制 (Jiang Zemin has been controlled / Jiāng Zémín bèi kòngzhì) and 江系军委被撤 (Jiang has been withdrawn from the Military Commission / Jiāng xì jūnwěi bèi chè) refer to the supposed sidelining of Jiang Zemin during the change in CCP leadership last year. The Epoch TImes (see caveat here about Epoch TImes and other Falun Gong-supported media), citing a Japanese source in a BBC article, asserted that Jiang’s office in the Central Military Commission, which he had once been the head of, had been shut down as of Nov 2012. Jiang was noted for being extremely influential in helping friends and colleagues rise to positions of power throughout the Chinese government, military, and courts—so much so that this group of individuals who owed their careers to Jiang’s patronage were known as the Shanghai Gang. His influence remained even after he no longer held any official offices: his last public office was as a National People Congress member in 2008.

Other Falun Gong-related media used the phrase 江泽民被控制, indicating that Hu and the incoming head of the CMC Xi Jinping had wrested control of the military from Jiang—this despite the fact that it was reported that Jiang had successfully backed Xi as the new president of China despite Hu’s support of another candidate, Li Keqiang. Of course, the Falun Gong has reason to attack and discredit Jiang any chance it can—it was the despised Jiang who initiated and led the brutal drive to eliminate the Falun Gong throughout his time in office.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

11月5日至15日 出租车禁行 (Nov 5 to 15 rental cars/taxis banned / 11 yuè 5 rì zhì 15 rì chūzūchē jìnxíng) and 表叔 陈应春 (Uncle Chen Yingchun / biǎoshū Chén Yìngchūn) are two phrases that I don’t know why are on LINE’s “bad words” list. I couldn’t find a reference to a period when rental cars or taxis were banned (maybe it’s somehow related to the policies of some cities like Beijing to reduce the number of cars on the road to alleviate traffic and reduce pollution?) in November. And while we are all aware that netizens love attaching familial nicknames to corrupt government officials (see "Wristwatch Uncle"/"Second Watch Brother" and "Receipt-signing Brother"), I couldn’t identify any particular scandal that Chen, the vice-mayor of Shenzhen, was involved in. If you have any suggestions about why these words would be considered, let me know.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

11月5日至15日 出租车禁行 (Nov 5 to 15 rental cars/taxis banned / 11 yuè 5 rì zhì 15 rì chūzūchē jìnxíng) and 表叔 陈应春 (Uncle Chen Yingchunbiǎoshū Chén Yìngchūn) are two phrases that I don’t know why are on LINE’s “bad words” list. I couldn’t find a reference to a period when rental cars or taxis were banned (maybe it’s somehow related to the policies of some cities like Beijing to reduce the number of cars on the road to alleviate traffic and reduce pollution?) in November. And while we are all aware that netizens love attaching familial nicknames to corrupt government officials (see "Wristwatch Uncle"/"Second Watch Brother" and "Receipt-signing Brother"), I couldn’t identify any particular scandal that Chen, the vice-mayor of Shenzhen, was involved in. If you have any suggestions about why these words would be considered, let me know.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

帝都 实行宵禁 (Imperial capital implements night curfew / dìdōu shíxíng xiāojìn): the imperial capital likely refers to Beijing while the night curfew in question perhaps was the that would supposedly be enforced during the 2008 Beijing Sumer Olympics. NBC News reported:

For weeks leading up to the Olympics, reports had surfaced that officials would crack down and curtail the rambunctious partying Beijing — and the rest of China — is known for. Signs warning against drugs and prostitution were posted all around Sanlitun, an area known for those vices… . Officials also said that bars and clubs would be shutting off the taps and music at 2 a.m., a curfew that was never honored before… . But all the concerns seemed to be much ado about nothing. All along Sanlitun bar street Tuesday night, people were sitting outside one of the dozens of bars, enjoying the (relatively) cool Beijing night as security volunteers and police stood nearby.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

帝都 实行宵禁 (Imperial capital implements night curfew / dìdōu shíxíng xiāojìn): the imperial capital likely refers to Beijing while the night curfew in question perhaps was the that would supposedly be enforced during the 2008 Beijing Sumer Olympics. NBC News reported:

For weeks leading up to the Olympics, reports had surfaced that officials would crack down and curtail the rambunctious partying Beijing — and the rest of China — is known for. Signs warning against drugs and prostitution were posted all around Sanlitun, an area known for those vices… . Officials also said that bars and clubs would be shutting off the taps and music at 2 a.m., a curfew that was never honored before… . But all the concerns seemed to be much ado about nothing. All along Sanlitun bar street Tuesday night, people were sitting outside one of the dozens of bars, enjoying the (relatively) cool Beijing night as security volunteers and police stood nearby.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

奥数叫而不停 (Complaints/discussion of the Math Olympiad have not stopped / àoshù jiào ér bùtíng) refers to the call by some parents and education scholars to end the usage of students’ Math Olympiad (an international test wherein high school competitors try to solve increasingly difficult and complex math problems) results as a metric for admissions to college.
As mentioned in a previous post, Yang Dongping, an education scholar and critic of inequality in China’s schooling system, criticized schools’ emphasis on the aoshu (奥数 / Math Olympiad)—he declared that the aoshu had worse effects than pornography in child development—and feared that the intense training students received in solving these abstract math problems was coming at the expense of a more rounded education. Furthermore, the pressure aoshu was placing on students—whose college careers were at the mercy of a 6 problem test—and parents—who were in essence forced to spend thousands of dollars sending their kids to afterschool training camps in order to prep for the exam—was hurting their mental health and financial situations. Some regional governments responded to this by banning the usage of aoshu test results as a factor in college admissions or banning aoshu training centers outright, as Beijing sought to do in 2012.
However, defenders of the aoshu, including those for-profit cram schools and parents who saw the aoshu as a beneficial test, responded by rebranding the International Mathematical Olympiads studying as “Happy Math” (快乐数学). Thus, this keyword refers to the continuing debate between the two sides.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

奥数叫而不停 (Complaints/discussion of the Math Olympiad have not stopped / àoshù jiào ér bùtíng) refers to the call by some parents and education scholars to end the usage of students’ Math Olympiad (an international test wherein high school competitors try to solve increasingly difficult and complex math problems) results as a metric for admissions to college.

As mentioned in a previous post, Yang Dongping, an education scholar and critic of inequality in China’s schooling system, criticized schools’ emphasis on the aoshu (奥数 / Math Olympiad)—he declared that the aoshu had worse effects than pornography in child development—and feared that the intense training students received in solving these abstract math problems was coming at the expense of a more rounded education. Furthermore, the pressure aoshu was placing on students—whose college careers were at the mercy of a 6 problem test—and parents—who were in essence forced to spend thousands of dollars sending their kids to afterschool training camps in order to prep for the exam—was hurting their mental health and financial situations. Some regional governments responded to this by banning the usage of aoshu test results as a factor in college admissions or banning aoshu training centers outright, as Beijing sought to do in 2012.

However, defenders of the aoshu, including those for-profit cram schools and parents who saw the aoshu as a beneficial test, responded by rebranding the International Mathematical Olympiads studying as “Happy Math” (快乐数学). Thus, this keyword refers to the continuing debate between the two sides.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

人大附中择校费杨东平 (High School Affiliated to Renmin University’s school choice fees, Yang Dongping / Réndà fùzhōng zéxiàofèi, Yáng Dōngpíng) refers to a 2012 decision by administrators at one of Beijing’s most prestigious high school (known colloquially as 人大附中, or RDFZ) to raise its 择校费, or “school choice fees.” Though the government has sought to eliminate many of the tuition barriers facing poor students from attending school, passing a Compulsory Education Law in 1986, unfortunately fees continue to hinder students in poor regions from getting the same quality of education as wealthier areas.
Wealthier families are also better off with regard to education; while schools like RDFZ have an application and admission process, some parents have the option of "donating" a "choice fee" in order to ensure their child can attend the school that they desire. This fee can allow the student to jump the queue if admission is based on test scores or allow them to acquire the appropriate paperwork to attend a school outside of their designated locality. Such fees can exceed hundreds of thousands of RMB at schools like RDFZ, and has turned into a big business, with middlemen companies promising admission, teachers selling their ability to sponsor students, and some local governments refusing to crack down on price gouging in exchange for a kickback.
Yang Dongping (杨东平), an education scholar at the Beijing Institute of Technology, is a fierce critic of school choice fees and writes about inequality in the Chinese education system. He is most well-known for his 2009 blog article attacking the aoshu (奥数), or Math Olympiad—which we’ll cover in our next post…
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

人大附中择校费杨东平 (High School Affiliated to Renmin University’s school choice fees, Yang Dongping / Réndà fùzhōng zéxiàofèi, Yáng Dōngpíng) refers to a 2012 decision by administrators at one of Beijing’s most prestigious high school (known colloquially as 人大附中, or RDFZ) to raise its 择校费, or “school choice fees.” Though the government has sought to eliminate many of the tuition barriers facing poor students from attending school, passing a Compulsory Education Law in 1986, unfortunately fees continue to hinder students in poor regions from getting the same quality of education as wealthier areas.

Wealthier families are also better off with regard to education; while schools like RDFZ have an application and admission process, some parents have the option of "donating" a "choice fee" in order to ensure their child can attend the school that they desire. This fee can allow the student to jump the queue if admission is based on test scores or allow them to acquire the appropriate paperwork to attend a school outside of their designated locality. Such fees can exceed hundreds of thousands of RMB at schools like RDFZ, and has turned into a big business, with middlemen companies promising admission, teachers selling their ability to sponsor students, and some local governments refusing to crack down on price gouging in exchange for a kickback.

Yang Dongping (杨东平), an education scholar at the Beijing Institute of Technology, is a fierce critic of school choice fees and writes about inequality in the Chinese education system. He is most well-known for his 2009 blog article attacking the aoshu (奥数), or Math Olympiad—which we’ll cover in our next post…

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

爆料不孝女 (Expose: unfilial daughter / bào liào bùxiào nǚ ) and 爆料朱熹后人 竟是政协委员 (Expose: Zhu Xi’s descendants, turns out is a CPPCC committee member / bào liào Zhū Xī hòurén jìngshì zhèngxié wěiyuán) refer to Zhu Minhui (朱敏慧), former director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Electronics and a CPPCC National Committee member. Apparently, some time in 2004, because of some rent or housing dispute (I can’t quite make heads or tails of the opening of the article), her parents, who lived in Shanghai, requested to move in with Zhu, who lived in Beijing. However, breaking with traditional Chinese values where children are morally responsible for caring for their parents until they die, she rejected their entreaty.
This traditional notion of filial piety (both for sons and daughters) is gradually being eroded in Chinese society today, and authorities have even sought to enact legislation which would criminalize negligent children who didn’t care for their elderly parents. The laws are hotly debated, with some Internet users both criticizing the vagueness of the laws and others applauding the effort to protect seniors.
Zhu’s case was apparently even more scandalous not only because she was a government official, but also because she was a descendant of Zhu Xi, one of China’s most notable neo-Confucian scholars. The irony that an unfilial child would be related to a scholar of Confucianism, which holds as among its core beliefs the need for children to care for and respect their parents, was no doubt not lost on netizens.
These keywords aren’t blocked on Weibo nor is Zhu Minhui’s name, but apparently the censors have been busy elsewhere. A search for the title of an article “官场人、不孝女朱敏慧” (Government official, unfilial daughter Zhu Minhui) reveals a number of search results on Google, but when you click through, all of those posts have been deleted from their websites.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

爆料不孝女 (Expose: unfilial daughter / bào liào bùxiào nǚ ) and 爆料朱熹后人 竟是政协委员 (Expose: Zhu Xi’s descendants, turns out is a CPPCC committee member / bào liào Zhū Xī hòurén jìngshì zhèngxié wěiyuán) refer to Zhu Minhui (朱敏慧), former director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Electronics and a CPPCC National Committee member. Apparently, some time in 2004, because of some rent or housing dispute (I can’t quite make heads or tails of the opening of the article), her parents, who lived in Shanghai, requested to move in with Zhu, who lived in Beijing. However, breaking with traditional Chinese values where children are morally responsible for caring for their parents until they die, she rejected their entreaty.

This traditional notion of filial piety (both for sons and daughters) is gradually being eroded in Chinese society today, and authorities have even sought to enact legislation which would criminalize negligent children who didn’t care for their elderly parents. The laws are hotly debated, with some Internet users both criticizing the vagueness of the laws and others applauding the effort to protect seniors.

Zhu’s case was apparently even more scandalous not only because she was a government official, but also because she was a descendant of Zhu Xi, one of China’s most notable neo-Confucian scholars. The irony that an unfilial child would be related to a scholar of Confucianism, which holds as among its core beliefs the need for children to care for and respect their parents, was no doubt not lost on netizens.

These keywords aren’t blocked on Weibo nor is Zhu Minhui’s name, but apparently the censors have been busy elsewhere. A search for the title of an article “官场人、不孝女朱敏慧” (Government official, unfilial daughter Zhu Minhui) reveals a number of search results on Google, but when you click through, all of those posts have been deleted from their websites.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

只身挡坦克 (zhǐ shēn dǎng tǎnkè) means one person blocking tanks. It should be pretty obvious why LINE would consider adding this to their list of censored keywords:

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

只身挡坦克 (zhǐ shēn dǎng tǎnkè) means one person blocking tanks. It should be pretty obvious why LINE would consider adding this to their list of censored keywords:

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In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

Oct 30

These three terms all refer to government officials who were caught in photographs wearing expensive wrist watches. 江诗丹顿 表叔 (Jiāngshīdāndùn Biǎoshū) refers to the originator of them all, the so-called “Watch Brother” or “smiling official,” Yang Dacai, former head of the Shaanxi work safety administration. He became notorious after a photo of him smiling at the scene of a grisly bus accident went viral on Weibo. Netizens were outraged by his callous behavior and after performing a “human flesh search,” they noticed Yang wearing numerous expensive wristwatches in multiple photos. Questions were raised about how a supposedly low-paid public official could afford $10,000 Rolexes, and Yang went under investigation for corruption, eventually being sentenced in Sept 2013 to 14 years in jail.
江诗丹顿 表叔 is another nickname for him: Vacheron Constantin Wristwatch Uncle, with Vacheron Constantin the brand of a very expensive luxury watch which Yang was caught in a photo wearing.

盘锦二表哥姜伟华 (Pánjǐn èrbiǎogē Jiāng Wěihuá) and 姜伟华名表 (Jiang Weihua’s namebrand wristwatches / Jiāng Wěihuá míngbiǎo) refers to Jiang Weihua, who, as noted in a previous post, was involved with ordering the murder of a farmer in Panjin city in Liaoning. 二表哥 can be literally translated as “the Second Wristwatch Brother,” and indeed, like Yang Dacai, he was caught in photos wearing fancy watches which were well beyond the means of what his official salary should have been as well. Giving despised public officials “affectionate” nicknames is meant ironically and a trend, with receipt-signing Brother (签单哥) referring to yet another government employee embroiled in corruption allegations.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

These three terms all refer to government officials who were caught in photographs wearing expensive wrist watches. 江诗丹顿 表叔 (Jiāngshīdāndùn Biǎoshū) refers to the originator of them all, the so-called “Watch Brother” or “smiling official,” Yang Dacai, former head of the Shaanxi work safety administration. He became notorious after a photo of him smiling at the scene of a grisly bus accident went viral on Weibo. Netizens were outraged by his callous behavior and after performing a “human flesh search,” they noticed Yang wearing numerous expensive wristwatches in multiple photos. Questions were raised about how a supposedly low-paid public official could afford $10,000 Rolexes, and Yang went under investigation for corruption, eventually being sentenced in Sept 2013 to 14 years in jail.

江诗丹顿 表叔 is another nickname for him: Vacheron Constantin Wristwatch Uncle, with Vacheron Constantin the brand of a very expensive luxury watch which Yang was caught in a photo wearing.

盘锦二表哥姜伟华 (Pánjǐn èrbiǎogē Jiāng Wěihuá) and 姜伟华名表 (Jiang Weihua’s namebrand wristwatches / Jiāng Wěihuá míngbiǎo) refers to Jiang Weihua, who, as noted in a previous post, was involved with ordering the murder of a farmer in Panjin city in Liaoning. 二表哥 can be literally translated as “the Second Wristwatch Brother,” and indeed, like Yang Dacai, he was caught in photos wearing fancy watches which were well beyond the means of what his official salary should have been as well. Giving despised public officials “affectionate” nicknames is meant ironically and a trend, with receipt-signing Brother (签单哥) referring to yet another government employee embroiled in corruption allegations.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

盘锦开枪 (Panjin, open fire [with a gun] / Pánjǐn kāiqiāng) refers to a reported Sept 21, 2012 incident in Panjin wherein a farmer named Wang Shujie tried to resist the government takeover of his property. Facing Wang’s refusal to give up his land, government officials ordered police on to the scene, and at some point officers opened fire, shooting and killing Wang. The story reverberated on Weibo and many blamed the deputy mayor of Panin, Jiang Weihua (姜伟华). The Epoch Times* reported that 

"[he] effectively ordered Wang’s death. Jiang is also head of the local Public Security Bureau. According to Liang [a journalist covering the event], he said words to the effect of: “If he does not cooperate, if he dares to oppose the government, what’s the big deal about killing a few? Shoot! The compensation is only a few hundred thousand, isn’t it? I’ll take care of all that, and the central government doesn’t have the authority to intervene.”"

Panjin, where this took place is where Sun Guoxiang is mayor; as noted in a previous post, Sun is noted for his support of forcibly relocating citizens in order to gain public access to their land—at which point the government often re-sells it at much higher values to land developers.
四学者建言 (Four scholars suggestions / sì xuézhě jiànyán) refers to a quartet of university professors from Peking and Tsinghua University who submitted an application to Beijing demanding an investigation into the Panjin murder as is their right reserved by the constitution. In China, using the constitution as a basis for legal claims is a touchy subject for the government.
Neither term is blocked from searching on Weibo and, in fact, a few of the posts directly reference the Panjin murder and subsequent legal request by the four scholars.
*One should always be cautious when relying on reporting done in Falun Gong-supported media like Epoch Times and NTDTV, but oftentimes the bias rests more on the editorial selection of articles, and for the most part the facts in their non-Falun Gong or non-anti-CCP articles are generally sound.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

盘锦开枪 (Panjin, open fire [with a gun] / Pánjǐn kāiqiāng) refers to a reported Sept 21, 2012 incident in Panjin wherein a farmer named Wang Shujie tried to resist the government takeover of his property. Facing Wang’s refusal to give up his land, government officials ordered police on to the scene, and at some point officers opened fire, shooting and killing Wang. The story reverberated on Weibo and many blamed the deputy mayor of Panin, Jiang Weihua (姜伟华). The Epoch Times* reported that

"[he] effectively ordered Wang’s death. Jiang is also head of the local Public Security Bureau. According to Liang [a journalist covering the event], he said words to the effect of: “If he does not cooperate, if he dares to oppose the government, what’s the big deal about killing a few? Shoot! The compensation is only a few hundred thousand, isn’t it? I’ll take care of all that, and the central government doesn’t have the authority to intervene.”"

Panjin, where this took place is where Sun Guoxiang is mayor; as noted in a previous post, Sun is noted for his support of forcibly relocating citizens in order to gain public access to their land—at which point the government often re-sells it at much higher values to land developers.

四学者建言 (Four scholars suggestions / sì xuézhě jiànyán) refers to a quartet of university professors from Peking and Tsinghua University who submitted an application to Beijing demanding an investigation into the Panjin murder as is their right reserved by the constitution. In China, using the constitution as a basis for legal claims is a touchy subject for the government.

Neither term is blocked from searching on Weibo and, in fact, a few of the posts directly reference the Panjin murder and subsequent legal request by the four scholars.


*One should always be cautious when relying on reporting done in Falun Gong-supported media like Epoch Times and NTDTV, but oftentimes the bias rests more on the editorial selection of articles, and for the most part the facts in their non-Falun Gong or non-anti-CCP articles are generally sound.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

中央领导内幕 (Central leadership insider / zhōngyāng lǐngdǎo nèimù) is a general term for someone with inside info about the CCP, with the implication being they are revealing something secretive or scandalous.
中央领导内幕 is not blocked on Weibo.
In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.

中央领导内幕 (Central leadership insiderzhōngyāng lǐngdǎo nèimù) is a general term for someone with inside info about the CCP, with the implication being they are revealing something secretive or scandalous.

中央领导内幕 is not blocked on Weibo.

In a break from our usual series of highlighting words blocked from searching on Weibo, for the next two days I’ll be looking more deeply at the keywords on chat messenger app LINE’s “bad words” list. For more about this series, see this introductory post.