'[W]orking in the best interests of the people and the public' [is] the stock phrase they use when responding to any and all complaints about the arbitrary freezing of your account. It seems to imply that in their eyes, you’re not a person, nor are you a member of 'the public.'”

— From a now-censored Weibo post by a popular food blogger describing her Kafka-esque interactions with the police "fraud-prevention squad" after all of her bank accounts were frozen due to a misidentification.

 

CDT Highlights

Latest

Chengyu for Xi Jinping’s New Era (Part 2): Malice, Ducks, and Human Resources

Xi Jinping’s New Era has inspired the creation of a host of “new chengyu”: idiomatic, often four-character, literary expressions that are the kernel of a larger tale. New Era chengyu are references to infamous incidents that have taken place under Xi’s rule, either satirical twists on classic phrases or new coinages that fit the form. Two weeks ago, CDT published Part 1 of the series, introducing the phrases: “Yunhao Blocks the Plow (云浩止耕, Yúnhào zhǐ gēng),” a reference to the brash thuggery of some rural cadres; “Ji Doesn’t Know the Law (纪不懂法, Jì bù dǒng fǎ),” a lament about the lack of...

  • Recent News
  • Human Rights
  • Translation
  • Politics
  • Hong Kong
  • Information Revolution
  • CDT Bookshelf
  • Economy
  • Society
  • Sci-Tech
  • Law
  • The Great Divide

Reports Detail Forced Displacement and Violent Reprisals Against Protest in Tibet

Two research reports published this week underscore how authorities in Tibet have displaced local communities to impose state-sponsored projects, undermining environmental protection and human rights. The collaborative research network Turquoise Roof published the first report, “Occupying Tibet’s rivers: China’s hydropower ‘battlefield’ in Tibet.” The report details how violent paramilitary reprisals have stifled protests against the construction of the planned Kamtok hydropower dam along the Drichu (Yangtze) river, threatening the displacement of villages and Buddhist monasteries: The...

Zhang Zhan Finally Released From Prison, But Real Freedom Remains Uncertain

Citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan finally reappeared on Tuesday, over a week after she was scheduled to be released from prison. Zhang was among the first and most prominent individuals to report from the ground in Wuhan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her critical reporting led to her arrest in May 2020 and a four-year prison sentence on the grounds of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Many feared that the absence of any news of her whereabouts last week meant that she was subjected to “non-release release,” a form of nominal freedom and arbitrary detention following formal...

Fireworks on Chinese Social Media Follow Death of Iranian President Raisi

Following Monday’s news of a late-night helicopter crash in heavy fog that killed Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, and six others (including crew members), some Chinese social media users took note of Raisi’s repressive track record, his past interactions with Chinese leaders and institutions, and even rumored reports of celebrations and fireworks among Raisi’s critics in Tehran. While Chinese state media has been filled with condolences and promises of bolstering ties with Iran, social media platforms have seen some more critical comments and...

Chengyu for Xi Jinping’s New Era (Part 2): Malice, Ducks, and Human Resources

Xi Jinping’s New Era has inspired the creation of a host of “new chengyu”: idiomatic, often four-character, literary expressions that are the kernel of a larger tale. New Era chengyu are references to infamous incidents that have taken place under Xi’s rule, either satirical twists on classic phrases or new coinages that fit the form. Two weeks ago, CDT published Part 1 of the series, introducing the phrases: “Yunhao Blocks the Plow (云浩止耕, Yúnhào zhǐ gēng),” a reference to the brash thuggery of some rural cadres; “Ji Doesn’t Know the Law (纪不懂法, Jì bù dǒng fǎ),” a lament about the lack of...

Hong Kong Makes First Arrests Under Article 23 National Security Law

On Tuesday, Hong Kong police made their first arrests under the city’s new homegrown national security law known as Article 23. The law was fast-tracked under pressure from Beijing and unanimously passed in March after only 11 days of debate. Critics have feared it will be used to further restrict free expression and other civil liberties on top of the existing National Security Law imposed by Beijing in 2020. Kelly Ho from Hong Kong Free Press reported on six people now arrested for alleged sedition under the new law: Hong Kong rights activist Chow Hang-tung was among six people arrested by...

Translation: Special One-Month Reconnaissance Operation Against “Overseas Cyber Forces”

A pair of recently surfaced screenshots appear to offer unusual detail about a special month-long operation, held in Beijing and involving over 40 Ministry of Public Security computer specialists from around the country, to combat “overseas cyber forces” in the battle for public opinion. The apparently leaked internal instructions from the Ministry of Public Security are likely to be the result of an email breach. They include the names and locations of many of the computer-specialist officers, as well as the name and contact information of the individual in charge of the operation. At some...

New eBook: China Digital Times Lexicon, 20th Anniversary Edition

On September 12, 2003, John Battelle published the first post on chinadigitaltimes.net: Here’s what a Google Search on “china weblog” yields, I’m looking forward to seeing ours at the top soon! China’s online population at the start of that year was nearly 60 million. Ten years later, it was fast approaching 600 million, and now, after 20, it is well over a billion. This new completely revised and hugely expanded update to our ebook series, formerly known as “the Grass Mud Horse Lexicon,” aims to capture something of the enormous explosion of online speech that accompanied this growth, with...

Quote of the Day: “Laid Off at 35, Re-employed at 60”

Chinese netizens have had a lot to say about economist Ma Jiantang’s prescription for adapting to the “era of longevity” by reclassifying workers between the ages of 60-70 as “the youthful elderly,” those between the ages of 70-80 as “the moderately elderly,” and those over the age of 80 as the “the elderly elderly.” Ma, former Party secretary of the State Council’s Development Research Center (DRC), told the attendees of a May 18 financial forum in Shenzhen that adapting to the “era of longevity” and eliminating age discrimination in the labor market would require...

Chengyu for Xi Jinping’s New Era (Part 2): Malice, Ducks, and Human Resources

Xi Jinping’s New Era has inspired the creation of a host of “new chengyu”: idiomatic, often four-character, literary expressions that are the kernel of a larger tale. New Era chengyu are references to infamous incidents that have taken place under Xi’s rule, either satirical twists on classic phrases or new coinages that fit the form. Two weeks ago, CDT published Part 1 of the series, introducing the phrases: “Yunhao Blocks the Plow (云浩止耕, Yúnhào zhǐ gēng),” a reference to the brash thuggery of some rural cadres; “Ji Doesn’t Know the Law (纪不懂法, Jì bù dǒng fǎ),” a lament about the lack of...

Censors Delete Tale of Police Overreach in Anti-Fraud Case

Last week, Weibo censors took down a post by a popular food blogger describing how all her bank accounts were frozen due to a local police department’s arbitrary and unprofessional “anti-fraud” case work. Her Kafka-esque account described how her accounts were shut down without any explanation, leaving her forced to “do all of the detective work” herself—only to learn that she was under investigation for fraud under the barest of pretenses. Her account is but the latest example of anti-fraud overreach. In April, CDT published a translation of a man’s account of being threatened by anti-fraud...

Hong Kong Makes First Arrests Under Article 23 National Security Law

On Tuesday, Hong Kong police made their first arrests under the city’s new homegrown national security law known as Article 23. The law was fast-tracked under pressure from Beijing and unanimously passed in March after only 11 days of debate. Critics have feared it will be used to further restrict free expression and other civil liberties on top of the existing National Security Law imposed by Beijing in 2020. Kelly Ho from Hong Kong Free Press reported on six people now arrested for alleged sedition under the new law: Hong Kong rights activist Chow Hang-tung was among six people arrested by...

Quote of the Day: Official Disposable Income Figures Derided as “Today’s Daily Dose of Humor”

On March 16, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced that the Chinese economy was off to a good start in 2024, with reported 5.3% year-on-year GDP growth in the first quarter of the year. The better-than-expected data was touted by various Chinese state media outlets online, although many of those news posts had comment filtering enabled, perhaps in anticipation of negative or skeptical reactions from social media users. Two items in particular seemed to strike netizens as overly optimistic: the reported “nationwide average per-capita disposable income” figure of 11,539 yuan...

Human Rights

Latest

Zhang Zhan Finally Released From Prison, But Real Freedom Remains Uncertain

Citizen-journalist Zhang Zhan finally reappeared on Tuesday, over a week after she was scheduled to be released from prison. Zhang was among the first and most prominent individuals to report from the ground in Wuhan at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her critical reporting led to her arrest in May 2020 and a four-year prison sentence on the grounds of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Many feared that the absence of any news of her whereabouts last week meant that she was subjected to “non-release release,” a form of nominal freedom and arbitrary detention following formal...

Politics

Latest

Xi Visits Serbia and Hungary, Pushing Wedge Into Europe

Following his trip to France earlier this week, Xi Jinping finished his European tour in Serbia and Hungary, where he received a warm, red-carpet welcome. The French leg of Xi’s tour was meant to soothe the E.U.’s souring attitudes towards China on trade and security and peel off Europe from the U.S. by targeting one of the E.U.’s most influential proponents of strategic autonomy. The Eastern European legs of Xi’s tour, on the other hand, were meant to flaunt the benefits of pursuing close, non-confrontational ties with China, by targeting two countries most at odds with E.U. policy towards...

Society

Latest