From China Digital Space
空椅子 (kōng yǐ zi): empty chair
Following the Nobel prize ceremony during which imprisoned Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo was represented by his empty seat, the term “empty chair” (空椅子) has become a banned word in Chinese cyberspace. As reported by the China Digital Times, Some bloggers who have used the term have had their accounts blocked, and a campaign to post images of an empty chair on blogs and microblogs have seen the posts censored and images removed; some accounts have even been deleted for posting the image.
China Digital Times also reports here about the ambiguous cover of the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, one of China’s most popular and outspoken newspapers. Was this cover a veiled reference to Liu Xiaobo?
Use of the empty chair symbol by Amnesty International