Sensitive Words: Protest in HK, Scandal in Beijing

Sensitive Words: Protest in HK, Scandal in Beijing

A call to protest above the fold in the Apple Daily.

As of July 1, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Protest in Hong Kong: July 1, the anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has also been day of protest in Hong Kong since the handover from British to Chinese in 1997. This year marchers voiced their anger at the news chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, whom they fear cares more about Beijing than Hong Kong. Besides his politics, it has also just come to light that Leung built HK$500 million (US$64 mil) of illegal structures on his various properties.

  • July 1 + take to the streets (七一+上街)
  • July 1 + march (七一+示威)
  • Victoria (维多利亚): The protest march began at Victoria Park, also the site of an annual Tiananmen memorial service.
  • Causeway Bay (铜锣湾): One of the demonstration assembly points.
  • Hong Kong Communist Party (港共): Abbreviation.
  • fall into enemy hands (沦陷): Some Hong Kongese are saying the city has fallen into enemy hands, alluding to ever closer ties to Beijing.
  • youGO (you行): Same as “march” (游行 yóuxíng)
  • Big Liar (大话精): A name some Hong Kongese have given to Leung Chun-ying.
  • Leung Chun-ying (梁振英)

Retested Words:

  • LWY: Li Wangyang, the pro-democracy activist found dead in his hospital room in June.
  • Li Wangyang (李旺阳)
  • injustice (冤案)
  • Article 23 (二十三条): Article 23 of the Hong Kong Basic Law would have criminalized subversion of the “Central People’s Government” (i.e. the mainland Chinese government). Protests on July 1, 2003 and continued public outcry kept the bill from passing.
  • Chinese Communist Party (中共): Abbreviation.


Xi Jingping’s extended family owns properties in Hong Kong worth ten of million of U.S. dollars.

As of July 2, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Xi Jinping, His Extended Family and Their Assets: The websites of Bloomberg and Business Week were blocked for a few hours last Friday after the former published an article on the fortunes of Xi Jinping’s extended family. Xi is expected to take over as president from Hu Jintao in October.

  • Xi (习)
  • XI (pinyin)
  • XJP: Xi Jinping
  • General Secretary (总书记): Retest. Assuming Xi replaces Hu, he will take on the titles of General Secretary of the CCP as well as President.
  • President [of the Nation] (国家主席)
  • Bloomberg (彭博)
  • Bloomberg
  • Qi Qiaoqiao (齐桥桥): Xi’s oldest sister. Qi is their mother’s maiden name.
  • Qi An’an (齐安安): Xi’s second oldest sister.
  • Deng Jiagui (邓家贵): Xi’s brother-in-law and husband of Qi Qiaoqiao.
  • Wu Long (吴龙): Xi’s brother-in-law through Qi An’an.
  • Zhang Yannan (张燕南): Daughter of Qi Qiaoqiao.
  • Beijing + Hiconics (北京+合康): Zhang Yannan invested 3.17 million yuan (US$5.8 mil) in the Hiconics Drive Technology Co. in 2009.
  • Jiangxi Rare Earths (江西稀土): Abbreviation for Jiangxi Rare Earth & Rare Metals Tungsten Group Corporation, in which Deng Jiagui indirectly holds an 18% stake.
  • New Postcom (新邮通): Abbreviation for New Postcom Equipment Co., previously owned by Wu Long.


  • leader who brings down the country by abusing his power (奸相)
  • isolated incident (孤立事件): Wang Lijun has resigned from the National People’s Congress. The CCP refers to the Wang Lijun scandal as an “isolated incident.”

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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