The “Occupy” Series: Sina Weibo’s New List of Banned Search Terms (Update)

As the Occupy Wall Street movement goes global, China’s call for calm observation and reflection may have been followed by another round of censorship in cyberspace. A long list of banned keywords on Sina Weibo’s search function has been uncovered and tested by the CDT team yesterday. All the listed phrases stick to one simple rule: a combination of “occupy” (占领) and a place name–provincial capitals, economically developed regions, and few symbolic local areas.

Keywords containing provincial capitals (all provincial capitals except Hefei of Anhui province and Guiyang of Guizhou province are on the list):

“Occupy Beijing”(占领北京), “Occupy Shanghai”(占领上海), “Occupy Guangzhou”(占领广州), “Occupy Xi’an”(占领西安), “Occupy Chongqin”(占领重庆), “Occupy Tianjin”(占领天津), “Occupy Urumqi”(占领乌鲁木齐), “Occupy Lhasa”(占领拉萨), “Occupy Changsha”(占领长沙), “Occupy Wuhan”(占领武汉), “Occupy Nanchang”(占领南昌), “Occupy Fuzhou”(占领福州), “Occupy Nanjing”(占领大连), “Occupy Hangzhou”(占领杭州), “Occupy Harbin”(占领哈尔滨), “Occupy Chengdu”(占领成都), “Occupy Kunming”(占领昆明), “Occupy Hohhot”(占领呼和浩特), “Occupy Haikou”(占领海口), “Occupy Zhengzhou”(占领郑州), “Occupy Changchun”(占领长春), “Occupy Shenyang”(占领沈阳), “Occupy Xining”(占领西宁), “Occupy Lanzhou”(占领兰州), “Occupy Taiyuan”(占领太原), “Occupy Yinchuan”(占领银川), “Occupy Shijiazhuang”(占领石家庄), “Occupy Jinan”(占领济南), “Occupy Nanning”(占领南宁).

Keywords containing non-capital cities:

(占领南京), “Occupy Dalian&rdquo, “Occupy Jiling”(占领吉林), “Occupy Shenzhen”(占领深圳), “Occupy Wenzhou”(占领温州), “Occupy Qingdao”(占领青岛).

Keywords containing local areas:

“Occupy Wangfujing”(占领王府井), “Occupy Zhongnanhai”(占领中南海), and “Occupy Financial Street”(占领金融街).

Uncategorized keyword:

“Occupy China”(占领中国).

Update: CDT Chinese has launched a project to crowd-source filtered keywords on Sina Weibo search. CDT independently tests the keywords before posting them, but, as Oiwan points out in the comment below, some searches later become accessible again. We welcome readers to contribute to this project so that we can include the most up-to-date information.