Sensitive Words: Tiananmen, Bo Xilai, More

Sensitive Words: Tiananmen, Bo Xilai, More

As of May 22, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function).


Image from “the world besieges the fortress” campaign.

Tiananmen: Some keywords related to June 4th are forever blocked from Weibo. Others are only blocked seasonally, as the anniversary of the crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy protests approaches. Retested keywords have been previously blocked. See our list of blocked keywords dating back to April 2011 for comparison.

  • tiananmen – retested
  • 天安门: Tiananmen – retested
  • 25周年: 25th anniversary
  • 64+屠杀: 64+massacre – June 4th is often called “Six-Four” in Chinese.
  • 64+开枪: 64+open fire
  • 89+动乱: 89+unrest
  • (六) 四+开枪: (six) four+open fire
  • 装甲车+直升机: armored car+helicopter
  • 天an门: TianANmen
  • 平反: redress
  • 天下围城: the world besieges the fortress – The China Democratic Party and similar organizations are holding June 4th commemoration activities throughout the US under the name 天下围城 tiānxià wéichéng (roughly “the world besieges the fortress”), including the online campaign 全民倒共、天下围城 quánmín dǎo gòng, tiānxià wéichéng (all the people topple communism, the world besieges the fortress). Read more from Radio Free Asia [Chinese].
  • 全民倒共 all the people topple communism


Anti-Pornography Campaign: The Xi administration is leading an effort to “clear pornographic and illegal publications” (扫黄打非) from Chinese websites.

  • H漫: H comics – Hentai, a type of pornographic comic book that started in Japan.
  • 凌辱: assault [a woman] – Often returns pornographic results.




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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