Sensitive Words: Foreigners and Cannibals (Correction and Update)

Sensitive Words: Foreigners and Cannibals (Correction and Update)

Correction: Zhang Yongming is the suspected Yunnan killer, not a victim.

Update: “Lei Feng” is unblocked.

As of May 26, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Photos of young American sharing fries and conversation with a beggar went viral on Weibo.

Foreigners and Exiles:

  • Lei Feng (雷锋): Results for search terms related to Ambassador Gary Locke, an American who shared McDonald’s French fries with a beggar, and other non-Chinese do-gooders are all blocked.
  • Wu’er (乌尔): Wu’er Kaixi, a student leader during the Tian’anmen protests living in exile. When he went to the Chinese embassy in Washington this month, he found himself “most unwanted.”


In response to the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report:

  • human rights (人权)
  • renRights (ren权)
  • HumanQuan (人quan)
  • renquan (pinyin Romanization)
  • human rights (English)


Murders in Yunnan: According to reports, the case of missing 18-year-old Zhang Yongming of Jinning, Yunnan is related to a serial killer.

  • Jinning (晋宁)
  • cannibal (食人魔)
  • homicidal mania (杀人狂)
  • eat people (吃人)
  • Zhang Yongming (张永明)
  • Yunnan + missing (云南+失踪)
  • dismember + corpse (肢解+尸体)
  • Yunnan + kill, including terms with the character “kill” (杀), such as homicide, murderer, murder, etc. (云南+杀, 如杀人、杀手、凶杀等)


Generally blocked: These terms are not related to particular events.

  • unjust case (冤案)
  • obscene (猥亵)


Note: 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. To add words, check out the form at the bottom of CDT Chinese’s latest sensitive words post.

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