Sensitive Words: Cars, Cake, and Satellite Dishes

Sensitive Words: Cars, Cake, and Satellite Dishes

Wreckage of the Ferrari crash which killed Ling Gu.

As of December 10, the following search terms are blocked on Sina Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

Ling Jihua Rumors: Before the Party Congress, Hu Jintao was accused by party elders of helping Ling Jihua cover up the death of Ling’s son in a Ferrari crash this March. The scandal had a profound effect on this year’s leadership transition, according to the New York Times. Ling himself was demoted from director of the Central Committee General Office to head of the United Front Work Department.

– Ling Jihua (令计划): Retested. First noted as blocked by CDT on April 16, 2011, and again on November 16, 2011. See our Google spreadsheet of sensitive Sina Weibo search terms.
– LingJH (令JH)
– department head (部长): This could imply either Ling Jihua or Liu Qibao, the newly appointed head of the Central Propaganda Department. Liu went missing last week, only to resurface as mysteriously as he disappeared yesterday. An essay about his new position entitled “Border Province Governor Liu Qibao” was ordered suppressed by censors.
– Gu Liping (谷丽萍): Ling’s wife. Rumors that she was being subjected to shuanggui have been refuted by the authorities.
– Gu Yuanxu (谷源旭): Gu Liping’s younger brother.
– Zhou Benshun (周本顺): Secretary of the Central Politics and Law Commission. Zhou was implicated in the rumors surrounding the crash.
– Liu Qibao (刘奇葆)
– Central Committee Organization Department (中组部)
– power struggle (权斗): retested

Selling qiegao.

Xinjiang Nut Cake Fiasco: A dispute between a customer and a Uyghur peddler in Yueyang, Hunan over the sale of qiegao (Xinjiang nut cake) went viral on Weibo last week. Netizens were shocked by the damages incurred–qiegao ruined in the spat were valued at 160,000 RMB. Anti-Uyghur comments, particular portraying the ethnic group as violent and criminal, have since proliferated.

– Yueyang + qiegao (岳阳+切糕)
– Xinjiang + qiegao (新疆+切糕)
– qiegao + 160,000 (切糕+16万)


– satellite dish (卫星锅盖)

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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