Ministry of Truth: Search Engines, Sex Scandals

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to these instructions as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”

State Council Information Office: All websites are asked to remove information related to “Jike and Panguso merger” and “Jike and Panguso leaving the search engine market,” and to tell your respective communities [i.e. forums] to clean out [discussion of these topics]. (June 13, 2013)


Panguso, a state-run search engine, was launched in February 2011, while Jike (pronounced “gee-kuh”) was launched by People’s Daily in June of the same year. Neither have faired well against Baidu and Sogou. Rumors of their merger reached the tech news website Huxiu on June 8; the article has since been removed from the site, but is available from Google’s cache [zh].

Central Propaganda Department: The trial of Chongqing’s Lei Zhengfu will be held June 19, followed by the trial of Zhao Hongxia  on the 20th. Related coverage must use Xinhua wire copy and authoritative information released by the court. Do not sensationalize or elaborate on the trials. (June 18, 2013)


Zhao Hongxia secretly recorded a sex session with former Chongqing official Lei Zhengfu in order to blackmail him. Whistleblower Zhu Ruifeng released the video last November, along with other tapes of 11 extorted officials.

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 on CDT Chinese 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.


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