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Number Five

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五号 (wǔ hào): number five

In Chinese, “number five” sounds the same as Wu Hao (伍皓), deputy director of the Yunnan Province Propaganda Department. Mr. Wu has received a great deal of attention for his controversial efforts to interact online with netizens and give Chinese government policies a kinder, gentler spin. His supporters argue that he is an example of a more enlightened official, while his critics say he merely represents an increasingly sophisticated online propaganda effort. Netizens have used creative ways to express their opinions about his work; an audience member recently showered him with fifty-cent bills during a speech at a university. This act was to protest pro-government Internet commentators, otherwise known as the “fifty cent party.”

On Sina Weibo, a Twitter equivalent, Wu Hao wrote a post in late March which suggested that those who supported Google were traitors. After a flood of mostly negative comments, Wu Hao deleted the thread, but a record was preserved and translated by CDT here.

Wu Hao, showered with fifty cent bills.