Minitrue: Delete Articles on Stock Market Slide

Minitrue: Delete Articles on Stock Market Slide

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.

Notice: All websites must find and delete the following articles:

  1. Shui Pi: If You Want to Play at “Beauties of the Emperor,” Get Ready for Your Castration
  2. Li Zhilin: Why Hasn’t There Been an Inquiry into Rare Stock Market Crashes?
  3. Pi Haizhou: If You’re Saving the Stock Market, Surrender Some of Your Powers; Straightening Out A Shares Is No Easy Task
  4. Guo Shiliang: Will the Current Market Still Venture a Registration System? (August 25, 2015) [Chinese]

The New York Times’ Chris Buckley reports on Chinese media responses to renewed stock slides, highlighting media directives published by CDT in July that forbade in-depth analysis, exaggeration of “panic or sadness,” and “emotionally charged words such as ‘slump,’ ‘spike,’ or ‘collapse.’”

There was no mention of the market mayhem on the [People’s Daily]’s front page, which featured a report about economic development in Tibet. Indeed, there was not a single reference to the stock markets throughout the entire 24 pages of the paper, which dwelled instead on the forthcoming 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II.

[…] China Media Project’s David] Bandurski noted that in April, People’s Daily was among the party-run news outlets encouraging investors to buy stocks, on the assumption that prices would keep rising, despite occasional hiccups. “I think people’s memories are long enough that they can remember how this began,” he said. “They were pushing the Kool-Aid.”

[…] Other newspapers and websites in China reported on the market turmoil, though often presenting China as an unlikely bystander in a wider global downturn.

Some parts of the Chinese news media that are less firmly yoked to echoing the party leadership’s positions, voiced rival views of what the government should do about the stock market slump. Some said the government should do more. Others said it was time to quit intervening. [Source]

The varied spectrum of China’s media was on display this month with some bold reporting on the causes of deadly chemical explosions in Tianjin. It remains unclear whether this will be allowed to stand as a precedent. South China Morning Post’s George Chen tweeted on Tuesday that a staff member at the independent Caijing magazine has been arrested “for ‘spreading fake info’ related to stock futures trading.”

The new stock slump has renewed earlier speculation of damage to Xi Jinping’s administration. The Financial Times, though, reports speculation that premier Li Keqiang could suffer the worst of any political fallout instead:

“Premier Li’s position has certainly become more precarious as a result of the current crisis,” said Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “If the situation worsens and if there comes a point where [President Xi Jinping] really needs a scapegoat, then Li fits the bill.”

[…] But even if Mr Li is blamed by the party elite for his handling of the crisis, most analysts and serving officials believe his removal from power would be too damaging to party prestige and credibility and that he is almost certain to remain in office, at least until the next five-yearly party Congress in 2017. [Source]

Directive translated by Anne Henochowicz.

真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.


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