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.
Telephone notification: We once again stress that the Guo Wengui incident is a highly sensitive political event. Without a unified higher level department order, websites must not report, not forward (including domestic official media reports) and not comment (including on official and personal WeChat, Weibo, and other social platforms) on any content relating to this topic. If there are flaws (such as those found on websites by network management department inspectors, or on public platforms reported by internet users or colleagues that can be traced by network supervision departments to work unit and individuals), there will be serious consequences. (Third notice) (April 29, 2017) [Chinese]
Guo, also known by the name Miles Kwok, is a politically connected billionaire who currently resides in the U.S., and has made a series of allegations of corruption against top Chinese officials. Since he has made the accusations public, Beijing has waged a media battle to discredit Guo’s name, including a YouTube channel called “The Truth About Guo Wengui.” An Interpol red notice has been issued seeking his arrest. Guo has used Western social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, to communicate with his growing number of fans. He was briefly blocked by both platforms in what may have been a response to his critics reporting him for spam or abusive behavior.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. 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. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.