Sensitive Words: Xu Zhiyong, Offshore Money, More

Sensitive Words: Xu Zhiyong, Offshore Money, More

As of February 14, the following search terms are blocked on Sina  (not including the “search for user” function).

"The Card Room" (Stubborn Baldy)

“The Card Room” by Stubborn Baldy (秃头倔人)

Xu Zhiyong’s Trial: More keyword combinations related to the trial and sentencing of rights defense lawyer and New Citizens Movement founder Xu Zhiyong are now blocked, including the names of fellow New Citizens who held a protest last year asking government officials to disclose their financial assets. Two of those protesters, Zhao Changqing and Hou Xin, were tried separately soon after Xu’s trial.

  • one trial judgment+citizen (一审判决+公民)
  • Zhao Changqing (赵常青)
  • Ding Jiaxi+Zhao Changqing (丁家喜+赵常青). Ding Jiaxi’s name is still searchable.
  • Li Wei+Yuan Dong (李蔚+袁冬)
  • Hou Xin+court (侯欣+法院)


Offshore Assets: In January, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) released the names of over 21,000 individuals in China and Hong Kong using offshore companies. ICIJ also disclosed the names of more than 37,000 offshore clients. The family members of some of China’s top leaders are among those named.

  • ICIJ: The Chinese name for the consortium (国际调查记者同盟) is searchable, but returns only 12 results. Weibo containing this search term are likely being deleted.
  • offshore+Virgin [Islands] (离岸+维京)
  • offshore+finances (离岸+金融)


Catching a “Big Tiger”: President Xi Jinping seems to be making good on his promise to fight “tigers and flies”–officials high and low–in his crackdown on corruption. The South China Morning Post reported in late January that the central government has briefed officials on the results of a  corruption investigation of former security czar Zhou Yongkang.

  • shuanggui+big tiger (双规+大老虎): Several “big tigers” are rumored to be under “dual designation” (shuanggui), referring to a specified time and place for the investigation of officials. Possibly undergoing shuanggui are Zhou Yongkang and China Banking Regulatory Commission Chairman Shang Fulin.
  • arrest+big tiger (逮捕+大老虎)
  • Tiger Wen (温老虎): This could refer to former premier Wen Jiabao (温家宝).
  • running official (跑官): “Running officials” go to more senior officials to ingratiate (or bribe) their way up the ranks.
  • former inner circle (前核心)
  • Yang Jiechi+resign (杨洁篪+辞职): It is rumored that foreign minister Yang Jiechi has asked to resign.
  • Xi+most recent stern speech (习+最近严厉讲话): Xi’s “stern speech” [zh] at a meeting on reform and development touched on his anti-corruption campaign.
  • a certain [person surnamed] Fu (傅某): CDT has not determined why this keyword is blocked. Reader tips are welcome.

Via CDT Chinese.

weibo_enBrowse all of CDT’s collected sensitive words on our bilingual Google spreadsheet.

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.

Have a sensitive word tip? Submit it to CDT through this form:


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