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Sensitive porcelain

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敏感瓷 (mǐngǎn cí): sensitive porcelain


This sounds the same as “sensitive words” (敏感词 mǐngǎn cí), which can be the names of politicians, religious movements (like Falun Gong), events (like The Thirty-Fifth of May) and subversive online terms (like grass-mud horse). Sensitive words are frequently blocked from Internet search results or forbidden to be discussed by the media.

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.


In July of 2014, Zhao Ziyang, the name of China’s former premier and general secretary who was purged politically and placed under house arrest following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, has finally been removed from Baidu’s list of banned sensitive words:

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


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