From China Digital Space
五毛 (wǔ máo): fifty cents
Netizens first coined the term “Fifty Cent Party” to refer to undercover Internet commentators paid by the government to sway public opinion (“fifty cents” is a reference to the alleged pay received per post). Now a “fifty-center” is anyone who actively and publicly posts opinions online that defend or support government policy. The Fifty Cent Party has become the object of much scorn. Netizens have written comics about and “training manuals” for fifty-centers.
The activist and artist Ai Weiwei conducted a lengthy interview with a self-described fifty-center which circulated during his 2011 detention.