Sensitive Words: Protesters, Ox Demons, and More

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

paid tribute to Qidong protesters and others.

– Tribute to Ten Protesters (致敬十大反对者): The Web portal Tencent posted an homage to 2012’s most notable Chinese protesters on December 30. The popular post was harmonized two days later.

(戴相龙): Dai, former governor of the People’s Bank of China, and his relatives have profited immensely from stock in Ping An Insurance, according to a December 30 New York Times exposé.

– Taihong Co. (泰鸿公司): Tianjin Taihong, which purchased cheap stock in Ping An, is mentioned in the Times piece on Dai. In October, the Times revealed that outgoing prime minister Wen Jiabao’s relatives hold shares in Taihong.

– Ox Demon (牛妖): Pronounced niú yāo, this refers to New York (纽约 Niǔyuē). The so  rankled Chinese officials with its report on the Wen family wealth that its Chinese-language website, just launched on June 28, 2012, was blocked. Times reporter Chris Buckley, who has been in China for 15 years, was forced to leave the country at the end of December when his journalist visa was not renewed.

(陈破空): A political commentator and activist, Chen was imprisoned for almost five years for his involvement in the Tiananmen protests of 1989. He currently lives in the United States.


All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results.

Browse all of CDT’s collected sensitive words in this bilingual Google spreadsheet.

CDT Chinese runs a project that crowd-sources filtered keywords on Sina  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