Ministry of Truth: No Bad News on People’s Daily

The following example of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, has 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.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

Last June, People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) applied to sell its 55% stock in China Huawen Investment Holdings in preparation for an IPO, which includes holdings of the state-run newspaper People’s Daily and its subsidiary companies. In the process, PICC claimed that People’s Daily owed $501 mil to Huawen (abbreviated Huakong in the directive below), a charge the newspaper denied. People’s Daily agreed to transfer its 25% holding in Huawen to PICC last December [zh]. PICC currently plans to IPO at the end of the year.

State Council Information Office:
1. Without exception, do not report on anything related to the People’s Daily and Huakong Co.
2. Without exception, any negative news involving the People’s Daily and its subsidiary newspapers, periodicals, companies and work units which has not yet received the approval of People’s Daily leadership must not be published. (October 24, 2012)

1.关于人民日报华控公司一事一律不要报道;
2.凡涉及人民日报社及所属子报刊、公司、单位之负面新闻,未经人民日报社领导同意,一律不得刊发。