Sensitive Words: HK, Citizens’ Movement, Ling Jihua, More

As of June 24, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function).

Hong Kong: Political tensions between Beijing and Hong Kong are running especially high as many in the region cast votes in an ongoing referendum on electoral reform. As of Monday, more than 700,000 had participated in an unofficial poll that China’s state media calls an “illegal” “joke” that would carry “serious consequences.” The poll comes after Beijing released a “white paper” putting mainland priorities over the interests of the semi-autonomous region—to which many in Hong Kong answered with protest. More protest can be expected on July 1, Hong Kong’s SAR Establishment Day, which has seen protest marches each year since the 1997 handover.

  • 港人+上街: Hong Kongers + take to the streets
  • 李柱铭: Martin Lee – Political activist and founding chairman of the Democratic Party in Hong Kong
  • 基本法+二十三: Hong Kong Basic Law + twenty-three (retested) –  The basis of a proposed Hong Kong security law. If signed into law, Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law would outlaw “treason” and “subversion” against the “Central People’s Government” (of mainland China). Protests in July, 2003 forced the bill to be shelved indefinitely. Terms related to Basic Law Article 23 were blocked from search results in July 2012 and again last year.
  • 基本法+23 : Hong Kong Basic Law + 23 (retested)

New Citizens’ Movement: The New Citizens’ Movement, which advocates causes such as officials’ asset disclosure and education rights for the children of migrants, has become a primary target in the central government’s crackdown on grassroots activism over the past year. Earlier this month three New Citizens were handed lengthy prison sentences.

  • Citizens+Movement
  • 公民+运动 – Citizens+Movement (retested)

Ling Jihua: A top adviser to former President Hu Jintao and once expected to be promoted to the Politburo, Ling Jihua became the center of a scandal after allegedly covering up the details of his son’s death in a 2012 Ferrari crash. A newly announced graft investigation into his brother Ling Zhengce has suggested that he may also be suspect in a new round of probes.

  • 令计划+大内总管: Ling Jihua + imperial palace housekeeper
  • 令计划+车祸: Ling Jihua + car accident
  • 令计划+情妇: Ling Jihua + mistress

Also blocked:

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.

Have a sensitive word tip? Submit it to CDT through this form: