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Sensitive porcelain

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敏感瓷 (mǐngǎn cí): sensitive porcelain

Sensitive porcelain. (我们爱讲冷笑话/Weibo)
Sensitive porcelain bearing the likeness of a river crab. (Boxun)

Sounds the same as “sensitive words” (敏感词 mǐngǎn cí). The list of terms deemed politically sensitive is ever fluctuating, and can include the names of politicians, religious movements, events, or subversive Internet language. Sensitive words are frequently blocked from Internet search results or forbidden from media discussion.

When prominent Chinese blogger Han Han was nominated for the Time list of the 100 most influential people, he invoked “sensitive words” in a blog post:

Yesterday, I saw a news report which said that I am a candidate for the list of the 200 most globally influential people from Time magazine. Sensitive word, sensitive word, and sensitive word from China are also candidates... I often ask myself, what contribution have I made to this society which is full of sensitive words? In the end, maybe all I contribute is another sensitive word—my own name—and nothing more.

在昨天,我看到了一条新闻,新闻说我候选了时代周刊的两百个影响全球的人物,中国同时入选的还有敏感词,敏感词和敏感词等人...我经常自问自己,我为这个充满着敏感词的社会做出了什么贡献,可能到最后我只贡献了一个以我的名字命名的敏感词而已 [Source]

Zhao Ziyang, the name of the late former premier and general secretary who was purged from the party and placed under house arrest after the pro-democracy protests of 1989, was finally removed from Baidu’s list of banned words in July 2014:

厦门程凌虚: Zhao Z Yang, the “sensitive porcelain” that had been frozen for so many years, has finally been unblocked on Baidu.


CDT maintains a bilingual list of sensitive words which have been blocked from Weibo search results.

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