Showing posts tagged television

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.

卫星电视 (satellite television / wèixīng diànshì) is TV programming broadcasted by a communications satellite orbiting the earth and received by households via an outdoor antenna, generally known as a satellite dish.

Why it is blocked: This is another fairly obscure word to be blocked (searching for 卫星电 returns 87 results, 5 of which are for 卫星电视), but at least there’s a reason. Installation of satellite TV dishes is regulated in China, with private ownership of them illegal in a number of cities (compelling some citizens to creatively conceal and hide theirs), though workplaces which need to monitor foreign news and establishments that cater to foreigners are allowed them. Satellite dishes were banned in China by Li Peng in 1993, supposedly in response to Rupert Murdoch’s declaration that satellite television would be “an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere.” (His company, STAR TV, would spend more than a decade trying to make up for that speech.) However, those restrictions are openly flouted by residents and marketers. Besides China’s desire to control overseas content entering the country, it’s reported that satellite programming is hampering the government’s efforts to transition cities to digital television (satellite TV service is earmarked for hard to reach rural villages).

Note: Satellite dishes themselves are more colloquially referred to as woks/pots ( / guō) or plates/dishes ( / dié). The more standard word for satellite dish is 卫星天线 (天线 / tiānxiàn literally means “sky wire/line,” aka antenna). 卫星天线 and 卫星碟 are not blocked on Weibo, but 卫星锅 is. [Status]