Thursday, March 22, 2012

Unprecedented online chatter on Bo Xilai - Jeremy Goldkorn

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Jeremy Goldkorn
The recent dismissal of Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai triggered off a lot of comments on China's microblogs. Even veteran internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn has to admit in the Wall Street Journal he was amazed, this time.

The Wall Street Journal:
"I don't recall ever seeing anything like this on the Chinese Internet," said Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei, a website that tracks Chinese media, of the recent proliferation of political gossip. The presence of so much rumor online is one likely explanation for the stepped-up censorship, he said. 
"Things are getting a little too out of control, so they've decided to rein it in," Mr. Goldkorn said, adding that it was difficult to say whether the decision to block searches came from government authorities or the websites' own in-house censors. 
Searches for "Ferrari," "coup" and Zhou Yongkang's name were also blocked on Sina Weibo this week. To beat the blocks, users have begun referring to Mr. Zhou as "Kang Shifu," using the name of a drink and instant noodle brand in a wordplay on the last character in Mr. Zhou's name.
More in The Wall Street Journal Jeremy Goldkorn is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers' request form.
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