Ministry of Truth: Song, Graft, and Games

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by central government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.

Central Propaganda Department: All media are to cease reporting and commenting on the confiscation of the Guo Lanying Art School property. (December 27, 2012)


Guo is a soprano known best for her rendition of patriotic songs, such as “My Motherland” (我的祖国). It seems that a falling-out with major shareholders has lead to the dismissal of the Art School’s long-time manager, Wu Ting’an, and closure of the school property. Guo is also embroiled in lawsuits which put her on the line for at least 20 million RMB [zh].

Central Propaganda Department: All media outlets and websites are to report the Ren Jianyu case in strict accord with the wire copy released by Xinhua and the Chongqing high court. Do not put the news on the front page or lure readers to the story. Do not alter headlines. Do not produce any other reports or commentary apart from the wire copy. Do not send reporters to Chongqing. (December 27, 2012)


Central Propaganda Department: Shenzhen will announce the results of its audit of the Universiade today. All media are kindly asked to report according to the Shenzhen Auditing Bureau announcement. Do not play up negative aspects, and do not connect this to recent cases of corruption in Shenzhen. (December 27, 2012)


The audit reveals that the Universiade, or World University Games, held in 2011 cost the city of Shenzhen 12.8 billion RMB (about US$2 bil). Former vice-mayor Liang Daoxing, who oversaw preparation for the games, is under investigation for graft.

Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “.” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The original publication date is noted after the directives; the date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.