China Change Logo

You are reading about: internet censorship

Jeff Rambin, December 11, 2018     “There is no word for the pain, sadness, humiliation and anger I feel in my heart.” After six years and four months of tweeting, Wang Jiangsong was forced to delete his account. Wang calls himself a “labor scholar,” but he is too modest. William Nee of Amnesty International calls Wang “arguably the most prominent labor academic in China.” This is due not only to Wang’s scholarship, but also to his connections, and most importantly, his compassion. Wang’s perspective has been relied on by the Associated Press, Foreign Policy, and Reuters. Last year, Wang became part of the news himself. As reported by Radio Free Asia, officials in a Beijing neighborhood used a November fire as a chance to […]


China Change, August 28, 2018     This 3-minute video has gone viral on Twitter the last couple of days. It’s not a movie; it’s an everyday reality in China that’s seldom captured on record. We, as many people do, know it’s a commonality, but the video somehow sends chills down the spine. The video emerged on Twitter on August 26. The event supposedly occurred late night on August 23 in Shenzhen, and the police came from Shajing police station (沙井派出所) for this young woman named Chen Guixiang. She’s an average Chinese, not an activist or a dissident. She posted or said something online, and the police arrived to take her to the station for an interrogation. It appears that she knew they were coming […]


China Change, August 21, 2018       Yang Shaozheng (杨绍政), a couple of months shy of 49, was for 11 years a professor of good standing in the College of Economics at Guizhou University. He taught game theory and advanced microeconomics, focused his research on optimization theory and mechanism design theory, and managed numerous provincial- and state-funded research projects. On August 15, however, Guizhou University made a decision to expel him for “long-running publication and spreading online of politically mistaken speech, writing a large number of politically harmful articles, and creating a deleterious influence on campus and in society.” He was also guilty of “being unrepentant” and refusing to accept “educational help.” Prior to this, last November, Yang was suspended from teaching and banned […]


Li Aijie, April 23, 2017 Born in 1971, the Urumqi-based Zhang Haitao (张海涛) was arrested on June 26, 2015 for his online speech: to be precise, 69 WeChat posts and 205 Twitter posts, including retweets of others’ tweets. On January 15, 2016, Zhang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power” and 5 years in prison for “providing intelligence to overseas [entities].” He was given a 19-year sentence. On November 28, 2016, the Superior Court of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region upheld the lower court’s ruling. On December 2, 2016, Zhang Haitao was sent to Shaya Prison in southwestern Xinjiang to serve his jail term, which ends on June 25, 2034, when he will be 63 years old. He hasn’t […]


China Change, March 24, 2016. In no particular order and with a couple of exceptions, we sample Chinese netizens’ thoughts on March 21, 2016, Twitter’s 10th anniversary. We don’t know who else will be touched by this, but we certainly are. – The Editors   乌鸦哥哥 ‏@wuyagege : Twitter is like a small cafe that never closes. People come and go, connecting with each other in ways both lasting and fleeting. You can exchange a few words if you feel the urge, otherwise everyone goes about their own business. After these many years, I have so many friends from all over, both old and new. Some have faded away, others are still around. Still others have been made to vanish. I somehow manage to continue on. I […]


China Change, March 23, 2016 Social media is by nature subversive in a country like China, where totalitarian rule depends on monopolizing the narrative and suppressing free speech. The Chinese Communist Party is well aware, and worried: state propaganda calls social media an “opposing sphere of opinion,” and hawkish PLA generals refer to it as battleground where life and death are at stake. On Monday, in an essay “laced with wartime imagery,” the chief editor of the People’s Daily warned of a “historic mistake” if China (meaning the Party) loses grip on new media. The war has been a daily affair for years now, despite the censorship, and despite the fact that netizens are thrown in jail for what they post. Another round of pushback against […]


By China Change, published: February 27, 2016 After someone dug up an old People’s Daily post from last year, Chinese netizens seized upon it to mock the Party and its recent ideological crackdown, particularly taking a dig at the Party for its recent Cultural Revolution-style crusade against the real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang.  After 20,000 repostings and 10,000 comments, the People’s Daily deleted the original post. The CCP is right to worry about the “two opposing spheres of opinion” (its own and that of the people), a stark reality that is shown by this reaction.  — The Editors     “What’s this vegetable called where you’re from?” the Sina Weibo account of the newspaper asked on May 15, 2015, alongside a picture of two clean […]


By @beidaijin, published: February 17, 2014 Total control that leaves no stone unturned.    In November, 2014, 163.com suddenly announced that it would close down its microblog service, or Weibo. Three months ago, qq.com announced that it would not add new features to its microblog service. It is unsure how long qq’s microblog will last before it also closes down. Sohu CEO Zhang Chaoyao (张朝阳) no longer uses his own Sohu microblog account to interact with users. Chen Tong (陈彤), Sina’s vice president, left Sina with a group of key personnel, and this was regarded as the fall of the biggest internet portal in China. “Big V” Ning Caishen (宁财神) announced that he would sell his account [with 6 million followers] for only 50 yuan, […]


By Tsering Woeser, published: January 14, 2015   Following the massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, millions of people, including leaders from over 40 countries, went to the streets of Paris on January 11th to condemn terrorism and reiterate their determination to defend freedom of expression. Two days earlier, Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, posted a statement on Facebook saying he was not afraid of death threats and Facebook “refused to ban content about Mohammed” that offended a Pakistani extremist. “We stood up for this because different voices — even if they’re sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place,” he wrote. “[W]e never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world. […]


By Mo Zhixu, published: July 3, 2014   China has severed Google services for several weeks now and there are no signs of service returning. Blocking Google has inconvenienced many people, among them Gmail users, teachers and students who use Google for academic research, and more. To this day, China has completely blocked the world’s four most visited websites: Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. For a long time, Chinese civil society saw the internet as the foundation for civil society development that would in turn help China’s transition to a democracy. The first ten plus years of the internet in China seemed to have attested to this hope to some extent. But as the regime has steadily escalated its censorship of the internet,  this expectation […]


By Mo Zhixu, published: March 14, 2014   After 1992, as the old planned economy disintegrated in China, and as the USSR and the Eastern European bloc collapsed rapidly, the Chinese communist regime adopted market-oriented economic policies to further open up to the west, making economic development its foundation for maintaining power. “Joining tracks with the world” became a mainstream slogan of that era. It was a hard-to-reject temptation for the Chinese regime that was eager to overcome economic stagnation and political animosity in the aftermath of the Tian’anmen massacre in 1989. In the west, also in early 1990s, the emerging information highway was fermenting considerable excitement. On April 20, 1994, the National Computing and Networking Facility of China (NCFC) was connected to the National […]


This past week was, by any measure, an interesting week in China. Last Saturday, May 4th, Chengdu residents planned, after days of online mobilization, to have a “stroll” in a downtown area protesting an oil refinery and petrochemical plant known as the PX project to be built in Pengzhou, about 30 kilometers away from the city. People worried about pollution and also the possibility of an earthquake disaster since the project is located on the same earthquake-active strip as Beichuan, the epicenter of the devastating 2008 earthquake. The protest didn’t materialize because China’s stability maintenance machine went to work in full gear. It was a rare, all-out display, and NPR’s Louisa Lim has a good report on how: “At the appointed hour and location for […]


vertical_align_top
Support our work

At China Change, a few dedicated staff bring you information about human rights, rule of law, and civil society in China. We want to help you understand aspects of China’s political landscape that are the most censored and least understood. We are a 501(c)(3) organization, and your contribution is tax-deductible. For offline donation, or donor receipt policy, check our “Become a Benefactor” page. Thank you.


Follow Us

Stats
Total Pageviews:
  • 1,314,691
Read in:
216 countries and territories