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 as “Directives from the Ministry of Truth.”
State Council Information Office: All websites must immediately delete the article “Foreign Media Say UBS Helped Wife and Daughter of Zhang Shugang Set up Secret Offshore Company,” along with related contents. (February 18, 2014)
Zhang Shuguang, a former senior engineer at the disbanded Ministry of Railways, plead guilty in September to accepting bribes for rail contracts. He is still waiting to be sentenced.
The revelations about UBS’ role in helping his family set up an offshore company come from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which recently made public a database on ten offshore jurisdictions. ICIJ released the names of over 21,000 people in China and Hong Kong using offshore companies. Julian Russell, director of the consulting firm Pacific Risk, told the South China Morning Post that “UBS should have been careful, given this BVI [British Virgin Islands] company is owned by the wife and daughter of a politically exposed person.”
CDT collects these directives from a variety of sources and checks 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.