Sensitive Words: Alibaba’s Political Ties

Sensitive Words: Alibaba’s Political Ties

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

Alibaba and the Political Elite: The New York Times reports that investment firms with ties to the families of China’s leadership are shareholders in the e-commerce giant Alibaba, which is set to IPO in September. Among those firms are Boyu Capital, one of whose partners is Jiang Zemin‘s grandson Alvin Jiang; and New Horizon Capital, co-founded by Wen Jiabao‘s son Winston Wen.

  • 阿里巴巴+红二代: Alibaba + red second generation
  • 阿里巴巴+江(志成): Alibaba + (Alvin) Jiang
  • 博裕: Boyu (Capital)
  • 新天域: New Horizon (Capital)


Also Blocked:

  • 方政: Fang Zheng — Student protester in 1989 who was run over by a tank during the crackdown in Beijing. Fang’s legs were crushed, but he survived, and he now continues his activism from the U.S.
  • 某教: certain religion — i.e. Islam
  • 共妻: hetaerism — Multiple meanings, the most general being a system of wife-sharing.

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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