‘Dove’ Pun on Google Causes a Stir in China

The Financial Times reports on the “Google Dove” phenomenon, which made it into China’s print media over the weekend:

The bird is the latest to join a whole menagerie of fictional beasts made up by Chinese bloggers to mock government censors.

The most famous one is the Grass Mud Horse, or caonima, which sounds like a Chinese obscenity. The llama-like creature is used in online campaigns protesting against Beijing’s ever fiercer clamp-down on online pornography. And there’s the River Crab, or hexie, representing officials censoring content in the name of promoting harmony.

Shortly after Google announced it was relocating its mainland Chinese search engine to its Hong Kong website last week, description of the dove started appearing on Chinese blogs. Normally, attacks on the government would stay online only, at least until they are blocked, as the internet remains the country’s freest media compared with traditional media, which are state-controlled.

The article’s appearance was all the more surprising because the Communist party’s propaganda department issued orders to all state-owned media not to cover the Google story in any way other than that sanctioned by Beijing.

See CDT’s translation about the Dove.

March 28, 2010 8:10 PM
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