Online survey axed after most reject Chinese identity – Jonathan Watts


From The Guardian:

Chinese authorities have shut down an online survey that found most respondents would prefer a different nationality if they were born again. According to the South China Morning Post, two editors of the host website, NetEase, have also been fired in the past few days, prompting speculation that they have been punished for organising the poll.

Electronic surveys are popular in China, but while the authorities tolerate voting for TV pop idols they are uneasy about polls on sensitive political subjects. This did not deter NetEase, which asked readers of its game site: “Would you like to be Chinese if you had a second life?” [Full text]

See also’s post (translated by CDT):

The survey, started on Sept. 4 and ended on Sept. 10, registered 10,234 votes with 64% saying “don’t want to be a Chinese in the next life.” Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the poll was whitewashed well before its original plan to run through October 11. (Note: the poll page is now pure white, unlike most deleted pages where visitors can see an automated error message.)

Someone says in a posting, “I want to answer below, like Albert Einstein: If I have a choice, I hope to be a Chinese in a China where there are civil liberties, rights protection, promoted citizenry welfare, freedom from poverty and fear. If possible, I would like to pay my due to help bring about the reality of such a China. ”

Commenting on the survey, columnist Wang Yifeng says it ammounts to a satirical swipe at the Chinese Communist Party, which has always touted itself as “great and glorious.” Under the evil-spirit rule of a foreign Marx-Leninism, people in this ancient, historically glorious nation have to depend on human trafficking for freedom, Wang observes. But for the vast majority who cannot get out of the country via the illegal means, they can only pin their hopes on the next life, which is a tragedy for the Chinese people.

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