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Number Two Branch of Beijing People’s Procuratorate Bill of Indictment BJ 2d Br Proc Crim Indict (2015) No. 48   Defendant Pu Zhiqiang, male, born January 17, 1965, identification number [redacted], Han ethnicity, from Hebei Province, master’s degree education, is a lawyer at the Beijing Huayi Law Firm and resides at [redacted] in Beijing. Placed under criminal detention by the Haidian Precinct of the Beijing Public Security Bureau on May 6, 2014, under suspicion of provoking a serious disturbance. With the approval of this procuratorate, arrested by the Beijing Public Security Bureau on June 13, 2014, under suspicion of illegally obtaining citizens’ personal information and provoking a serious disturbance. The Beijing Public Security Bureau has concluded its investigation of this case and, on November 13, […]


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, […]


On return from more than a week on the road, I caught up with my China news and found it all to be a bit…predictable. In response I’ve created the following template that seems to exist somewhere to save all of you time. A gov’t official (or family member of an official) was caught abusing their power by murdering/embezzling/forcing farmers off their land/covering up a scandal for a company in X province. The story first appeared on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, late last week and built to a crescendo over the weekend. SomeGuyWithACamera posted pictures of an angry crowd ranging between dozens and thousands, which were deleted within 24 hours by censors. Calls to the local gov’t went unanswered. A man from the […]


Last week Weibo was swept up in rumors of a completely imagined coup in Beijing (Yaxue covered the extent of the madness excellently). It seems that this week is bringing yet another wave of crazed speculation, again involving former star Bo Xilai, as well as an international man of mystery, and most of Bo’s family (NYT coverage or the more entertaining and similarly accurate movie version). For me the question has nothing to do with whether or not these rumors bare any resemblance to what has actually happened (they probably don’t), the big question is why aren’t these rumors being squashed like a bug? There are several possibilities. While nobody really knows the answer, my Chinese friends have assured me that “this is absolutely not normal”. Weibo has come off […]


A recurring topic on the blog is that in China many things are sensitive, but nobody is actually certain what is on that list (as we saw yesterday). For instance, due to a strange turn of events, “Ferrari” was blocked on Weibo, while rumors of a coup in Beijing remained intact. This lack of clarity on what can and can’t be discussed not only impedes the free flow of information and discourages efficiency, but also has very real costs for individuals and organizations. I know a Chinese Christian charity who would benefit greatly from greater exposure overseas. A number of scandals in other Chinese charities this year and continued concerns about the global economy have reduced contributions to them. So when I heard about a journalist doing […]


This week we have an interesting assortment for you. Before shutting himself up, an economist makes one last plea; the word to use to accuse someone who advocates change; China has a lot of “national secrets” and I bet this is one of them; the party asks you to oversee it, but you wonder how; a patriot defends his country, loud and clear; friendship cracks under fear; and what a Chinese luxury car looks like. Click date below for link to the original. More than once I translated in this column the economist Han Zhiguo, known for speaking out on Weibo and elsewhere about how the political system in China hinders the economy. He recently hinted that he had been pressured and threatened. This week […]


I came across a blog post yesterday that compares Weibo and Twitter, and the conclusion is that Weibo is not international and its power to promote change is limited. To that I will add that Weibo is really a glass house where it feels like you are free but you keep hitting the walls all the time. It is also becoming a mirror of the twisted world that China is, because, for example, while posts about what’s going on in the Tibetan area of Sichuan can result in a night visit by police (an artist friend of mine in Beijing emailed me on the 9th about being visited by four policemen the night before and taken to a station and warned of his posts about […]


By Yaxue Cao, January 23, 2012   I registered a Twitter account two months ago, but didn’t start actively using it until my Sina Weibo was blocked in mid-December. Since then, I have made 600 plus tweets (including a lot of retweets and some replies) and been following over 200 people as of now. Every so often, I feel like sitting in a bustling tea house, the southern kind where all windows are flung open and a steady stream of people come in and out of the door, alone at a corner table, occasionally joined by one or the other of the two friends I have, listening to conversations twirling around me and, over time, getting to “know” some of the frequenters as well as […]


This week we offer an assortment of Weibo items for your thoughts: the mysterious but all-powerful Above, China’s new land reform, China’s AIDS exiles, journalists as propaganda workers, free turnips, and more. Click on date below item for link to the original. 黎学文在北京/Li Xuewen in Beijing/(Writer, publication planner)/:【The  invisible Above】There is an absurd black hole in [China’s] current power operation: In each of the wrongful convictions, there are enforcers but no one is in charge. The enforcers say, this is the decision of the Above. But no one knows who is the Above and who you can take legal action against. As the source of evil, the Above is shrouded in a fog. There are evil doers but no one can be held accountable for […]


On November 16th, in Qingyang, Gansu (甘肃庆阳), a minivan with a rated capacity of 9 people but carrying 63 daycare children collided with a truck, killing 19 children and 2 adults. We offer a group of photos culled from Weibo to illustrate the incident. We also continue to follow the two cases, Chen Guangcheng’s and Ai Weiwei’s, that lay bare China’s “rule of law”, while offer other items for your thoughts.  Click on an item for a link to the original. Read about the tragic accident, and about China, in 5 pictures: Sadness and outcries poured in on Weibo, while CCTV’s Evening News made no mention of it. The photo below on the left shows candles lit by residents in Dongfanghong Square (东方红广场) in Lanzhou […]


This week we continue to follow the Free Guangcheng movement (自由光诚), even though some of the more vocal Weibo accounts have been shut down, and nearly all CGC avatars wiped out.  We also offer items about increasing number of false cases against private entrepreneurs; sign of judiciary collapse; dire need for political reform; latest inflation number, and the latest on Ai Weiwei. Click on date below item for link to the original. Zheng Wei/郑维/(Editor of Zaobao Online in Singapore)【Zao Bao special report on Chen Guangcheng 】Chen Guangcheng’s case has been elevated by the local government as a “conflict between enemy and us,” the measures taken against him can be traced back to the revolutionary era, and he has been judged by ideology. It has been […]


This week’s Heard on Weibo offers translation of postings about the violence in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, where store keepers revolted against increased taxes; China should provide nuclear protection to North Korea; a young man being arrested for founding a pro-democracy website; what is “dignity”; and the continued activism to free the blind rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng (latest NYT report here and two powerful video clips: here and here). Click on date below item for link to the original. Zhou Tianyong / 周天勇/(Professor at University of Science & Technology Beijing) : The revolt against increased taxes in Huzhou is a milestone. In the past I have appealed many times regarding over-taxation, excessive fees and fines, high cost for small and micro businesses to borrow money, high […]


My office’s usually chipper intern (the same one whose budget we looked at last week) surprised me on the way to lunch today when she told me she was in a bad mood. “Our society has too many problems everywhere,” she told me in English before launching into Chinese, she had seen an old woman pick food out of the garbage can on her way to work this morning. Later she told me of seeing a patient fight with a doctor over a medical bill that he couldn’t afford. The metro crash to her wasn’t so much a wake up call as it was a painful reminder of all the problems facing Chinese society. “In society, we are powerless to change,” she said loudly enough […]


If you aren’t familiar with the Great Firewall of China I would suggest reading this and this first. Several months ago Hillary Clinton described the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party to maintain their firm grasp on power as a “fool’s errand.” I think her succinct statement was right on target. The gov’t’s attempts to limit freedom of speech only seem to be accelerating the causes pushed by China’s activists. Today we’ll be looking at how the Great Firewall is likely to create more problems than it solves. First just a touch of history. Despite popular belief, the Great Wall as we know it (the brick one built after the Yuan dynasty), was built largely due to gov’t inaction. While the national gov’t bickered over whether or […]


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