The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
All websites delete comments and news related to the advertisement for Mengniu Dairy’s deshelved drink “Da Hun Jun.” (January 27, 2015)
Mengniu Dairy’s newest product flew off the shelves, but not how the company intended. The name of the deshelved drink, “Da Hun Jun” (literally “Great Meat Monarch”), marketed towards China’s many meat-lovers, could be interpreted as a pejorative reference to Xi Jinping. The homophonous word 昏君 (hunjun) means a “fatuous and self-indulgent ruler,” according to the ABC Dictionary.
A spirited image-crafting campaign has surrounded Xi’s presidency to date. Late last year, Chinese media regulators ordered wordplay out of advertisements.
A sarcastic post by Weibo user Bowenhuaxia (@博闻华夏) castigating Mengniu has been deleted:
Mengniu, you’re really asking for it! Pulling this from every shelf of every store in the country wouldn’t be a bad idea at all. You should be grateful if they don’t wipe you and your family off the face of the earth. (January 25, 2015)
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. 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.