Sensitive Words: Chen Guangcheng (Updated)

New terms surrounding Chen Guangcheng’s escape and those who helped him have been censored as of April 28:

Concerning the Arrest of He Peirong (@pearlher): pearl, zhen + zhu (the pinyin transcription for “pearl”), He Peirong

Concerning Rumors of Chen’s Whereabouts: UA898 (from an online rumor that Chen has already boarded United Airlines flight 898 en route to Washington, D.C.), embassy (from another rumor that Chen is in the U.S. embassy in Beijing)

Chen’s Family: Chen Kegui (Chen’s nephew, running from the authorities since he attacked local officials)

Overseas Media: CNN, BBC (both have actively reported on Chen’s escape)

Collateral: Shawshank Redemption (The story became a Weibo meme as netizens compare its story to Chen’s. More from CDT Chinese here.)

Locations: Linyi, Dongshigu (retested)


As of April 27, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Relating to Chen Guangcheng: blind man (mángrén)*, blind man (xiāzi)**, GC (from CGC, short for Chen Guangcheng), Guangcheng, light + truth
Retested: Let there be light, let there be truth
陈光诚相关:盲人*,瞎子**,GC (CGC为“陈光诚”常见缩写),Guangcheng,光+诚

* Chen is often called the Blind Lawyer of Shandong
** Netizens use the term “that blind man from Shandong” to get around the censors

Note: All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results.

CDT Chinese runs a project that crowd-sources filtered keywords on Sina Weibo search. CDT independently tests the keywords before posting them, but 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.