Censors and Netizens Respond to Foxconn Suicides
The recent suicides at the Foxconn factory have become the focus of attention for the media and netizens in China. In response, the government has repeatedly issued directives limiting reporting on the topic to the media and news websites. The Ministry of Truth blog has posted a selection of recent orders from propaganda officials:
May 29 – For the front pages of news websites and news center pages, blogs, micro-blogs, there should be no news related to “Foxconn” except from official sources. If one has posted such information, please clean it up by yourself.
May 28 – About the Foxconn incident, on the Internet, other than Xinhua’s domestic general draft, there should be no other reporting. Remove all special sections and news interviews. Forums and blogs must not have new related content. All related content before the 12th jump should be locked up and sunk to the background. All websites must complete the clean-up task tonight. Do not leave any dead corners. Websites that violate the rules multiple times, do not listen to orders, or do not effectively implement the orders will be heavily fined.
On the Baidu search engine, keywords can automatically generate a related online forum. But for a search of “Foxconn” in Chinese, this function is disabled. See here for a screenshot and a Chinese netizen’s comment: “Congratulations to Foxconn for being promoted to the rank of sensitive word.”
But netizens continue to discuss and take action on this topic, including prominent blogger Han Han. The photo below is being widely circulated online:
A group of Shenzhen netizens in their fifties organized a trip to the Foxconn factory, donning costumes and carrying fake guns. The signs on their rifles read: “Don’t jump from the building, jump to another company.” The large sign in the middle reads: “Foxconn’s Unhappy Children: You need to stay! This world still has more honesty and wonderful things.”
Twitterers have also been writing on the topic:
@Blogtd: The Foxconn dormitories should be built a little higher. Really, they should be high enough that when you stand on the top, you can see a factory in the distance that is better than Foxconn.
@pufei: Foxconn is not a sweatshop, it is one factory in a sweat kingdom.