The web censors responsible for this recent action were the usual suspects from Beijing’s web management office — officially, the Beijing Municipal Internet Information Administrative Bureau (北京市互联网宣传管理办公室) — which sits directly under the Internet Propaganda and Administrative Office (网络宣传管理局) of the State Council Information Office (国务院新闻办).
There is nothing municipal at all about Beijing’s Web management office. Jurisdiction over the internet companies of Beijing means effective jurisdiction over the vast majority of websites with broad regional or national reach in China. Even QQ, which has its corporate base in Shenzhen, handles editorial operations from its base in the capital.
The September 11 instructions from the Web management office were crystal clear: delete all essays from Lung Ying-tai, and do not attempt any further posting of her work.
Before the order came down from web censors, the last piece about Lung Ying-tai appearing online was posted on September 3 at Xinhua Online and other sites. It was called “New Lung Ying-tai Book Explores the Great Changes in the World Over the Past 60 Years” (龙应台新书追溯60年沧桑世事 讲述平凡人曲折命运). The new book it referred to was Lung’s Wide Rivers and Seas: 1949 (大江大海 一九四九).