Directives from the Ministry of Truth: Olympics and More

The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

These directives were collected by CDT Chinese between July 31 and August 3.


Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China: Do not reprint, report or comment on the Internet rumor concerning the RMB 450,000 meal for 15 Olympic officials in London.


Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China: Without exception, do not report on Kazakh weight lifting gold medalist Maiya Maneza (Yao Li).


Maneza (Yao Li) and Zulfiya Chinshanlo (Zhao Changling), female weight lifters who won gold for Kazakhstan, are both originally from China.

Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China: In reporting on the London Olympics, do not raise the issue of the “national system” [of sports training] again. Except for commentary in specified media, do not challenge or speculate on the system.
中宣部:关于伦敦奥运会的报道不要再提“举国体制,” 除指定媒体的评论外,对于这个问题不质疑不炒作。


Guangdong Provincial Department of Propaganda: (1) We emphasize once again that reporting and commentary on the nationalized sports system must stop. (2) Strictly follow the specifications of the wire copy [of state-owned media] in reporting on the Guangzhou leadership working group’s announcement of a trial program for regulating the number of small- and mid-sized vehicles. Do not call the program into question or make commentary on it.

On July 31, the city of Guangzhou announced a new initiative to limit the number of vehicles on the road [zh]. During the trial period, drivers enter into a lottery to get plates for new cars, with a greater number of slots open for clean energy vehicles. Drivers of used cars purchased before July 1 may re-register once before March 31, 2013, and have the opportunity to purchase one other car in that time frame should their current vehicle break down.


Guangdong Provincial Department of Propaganda: (1) For the time being, do not report on the letter written to the Guangzhou government and media by used car salesmen concerning their request for a resolution to their employment issue. (2) Discontinue reporting and commentary on the Tiny Grass Information and Counseling Center in the Bao’an district of Shenzhen.

Tiny Grass Information and Counseling Center Workers Home (小小草信息咨询中心工友家园) [zh] provides free recreational activities and advice on workers rights to temporary workers (i.e. those employed seasonally, on construction projects, etc.). The Center has been unable to register with the Ministry of Civil Affairs since its founding in 2003. Municipal inspectors came to the Center in June to examine, among other aspects of the organization, its “illegal publications.” Both the landlord and the local fire department are now putting pressure on the Center to relocate [zh].

Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China: Do not report or speculate on negative press on Leung Chun-ying’s administration, Hong Kong textbooks or national education.