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.
Regarding the news that Lianhua Gourmet rescinded its nominee for independent director, remove the story from the front page and do not speculate about it. Coverage is prohibited from mentioning related national leaders. Violators will be seriously punished. (December 4, 2015) [Chinese]
Shares in Henan Lianhua Gourmet Powder rallied 10% last Wednesday, hitting the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s the daily limit, after it announced the nomination of Xi Yinping as a candidate for independent director. But the company cancelled the nomination later that day, sending stock down on Thursday’s opening. It has not given a reason for the cancellation.
Xi Yinping is a younger cousin of President Xi Jinping. According to Lianhua’s filing last Tuesday, Xi Yinping became vice chair of the Shaanxi Xi Zhongxun Research Society, named after Xi Jinping’s revolutionary father, in 2014.
It is not only domestic Chinese media that have come under pressure to avoid any hint of Xi family nepotism. Bloomberg’s website has been blocked since June 2012, when it published an investigative report on the wealth and business connections of the Xis. One year later, amid a sharp decline in terminal sales, Bloomberg scrapped a story on tycoon Wang Jianlin. The author of that story, Michael Forsythe, is now at the New York Times, which published his piece in April 2015.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, whothen 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.