Minitrue: Who “Weibed” Xi Jinping’s Steamed Buns?
The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
State Council Information Office: All websites must find and delete the article “Who Is [This Weibo User] Sihaiweichuanbo Behind Xi Jinping’s Steamed Buns?” [zh] by the author Zheng Zhi. Do this immediately. (January 1, 2014)
Photos of Xi Jinping ordering lunch at the Beijing steamed bun shop Qingfeng were first posted by Weibo user @四海微传播 (Sihaiweichuanbo, or “Four Seas Microcast”). Zheng Zhi casts doubt on the claim that “Four Seas” was simply a customer, scrutinizing the sequence of events–Xi entered Qingfeng around 12:20 p.m., but the first weibo only went out at 1:20–and Four Seas’ online activity. Mosts of Four Seas’ posts are retweets of official media and similar sources; one of his/her first posts was a retweet of the headline “Hong Kong paper Da Kung Pao’s story ‘Beijing Cabby’s Lucky Day: President Xi Got in My Taxi’ is bogus” (香港大公报刊登的《北京的哥奇遇:习总书记坐上了我的车》报道为虚假新闻).
Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these 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 on CDT Chinese 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.