Staff

Deleting Trade War Nuance

In a post made to Weibo early this morning, one Chinese user wrote: “[#ChinaIsNotScared#] I’ve heard Trump is getting angry, and now considering another 100 billion in tariffs against China? Let me tell you: China is not scared! Whoever wants to prevent China’s expansion will pay a painful price in the end!” The post, its clear support for China in the ongoing spat over trade notwithstanding, was quickly deleted by censors — indicating that the topic of tariffs and trade is a highly sensitive one for the leadership, which hopes to curtail discussion among internet users even as it...

Read More

China To Purge Online Video Services

When it comes to intensifying controls on online content, the people have once again spoken. Or so claims China’s broadcast regulator in an action announced earlier this week, demanding that two of the country’s most popular media platforms, live-streaming app Kuaishou (快手) and Jinri Toutiao (今日头条), a news aggregator, put a freeze on video uploading services for new account holders and be subjected to a purge of existing programs. In a notice posted to its official website and WeChat account on Wednesday, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) — which is due to be dissolved...

Read More

English News Brief on Presidential Term Change Angers Leaders

When the news broke last Sunday that China planned to introduce changes to its Constitution removing term limits for the president and vice-president — paving the way for Xi Jinping to remain in the position beyond 2023 — observers outside China puzzled over the fact that this news seemed to break first through an English-language report from the official Xinhua News Agency. Media in Hong Kong are now reporting that the English-language news brief from Xinhua was the cause of some consternation in Beijing, where unspecified central Party leader have ordered an investigation into what has been called a...

Read More

Under Control, Nothing to See Here

One woman was killed and 12 others were injured today in a knife attack in a busy mall in Beijing. Police in the capital quickly released an announcement through social media saying that the situation was under control, and that a suspect was in custody. As of late evening, the Beijing police notice entirely dominated information about the incident on mainstream news sites and on social media. This short news piece from People’s Daily Online also cites as its source “the official Weibo account of the Beijing police.” But even as news based on the police notice remained on...

Read More

Cults, Cores and Crowns: CMP 2017 Discourse Report

Over the weekend, the China Media Project released the Chinese-language version of co-director Qian Gang’s annual report on Chinese political discourse — his “Discourse Climate Report 2017” — through Taiwan’s Storm Media. For this year’s report, special thanks go to the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, where Qian Gang is currently on fellowship. We will have a full English version of the analysis available soon. Until then, here are a few of the key takeaways from the report. 1. The discourse highlight of the year was the “crowning,” or guanming (冠名), of Xi Jinping in the introduction of his...

Read More

The Making of the “Low-End Population”

On the night of November 18, a fire broke out the low-rent tenement buildings of Xinjian Village in Beijing’s Daxing District, resulting in 19 deaths and 8 injuries. The authorities held two briefings at which they reported the situation with regard to deaths and injuries, and updated on the status of the investigation, including the position of the fire and its cause. Beijing Party Secretary Cai Qi (蔡奇) held a meeting on November 27 with top county-level officials in the city, and discussed both the November 18 fire and the scandal surrounding alleged abuse at the RYB Kindergarten. Media...

Read More