Posted On 2014/07/24 By In Behavior, Chinese Perspective, News, Internet, Government, Social Media With 569 Views

Social Web Posts censored for comparing an inflatable Toad to a former Party Chief

Chinese reports about a giant inflatable toad have been deleted from the internet after social media users compared the puffed-up animal to a former Communist Party chief. The installation of a giant inflatable duck in Hong Kong’s harbour last year sparked a national craze for oversized blow-up wildlife, with several Chinese cities launching their own imitations. The latest, a 22-metre-high (72-feet) toad, appeared in a Beijing park last weekend, but met with mockery from social media users who compared its appearance to that of former President Jiang Zemin.

The website of China’s official Xinhua news agency and popular web portal Sina had deleted their reports on the animal — seen as a symbol of good fortune in traditional Chinese culture — by Wednesday.

A message on Xinhua’s website read: “Sorry, the report you are attempting to access has been deleted or has expired,” although reports on some lower-profile news sites were still accessible.

China’s ruling Communist Party tightly controls the internet, blocking foreign sites such as Facebook while ordering local outlets to remove articles on political topics it deems sensitive, such as criticism of senior leaders.

Last year, China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo blocked searches for “big yellow duck” after users posted an image of the iconic “Tank Man” photograph showing a Tiananmen Square protester but with military vehicles replaced by giant ducks. Jiang — who stepped down as president in 2002 but still wields influence within the party — has been mockingly nicknamed “toad” by some Internet users for his jowly features.

Rumours have been swirling around Jiang amid reports that current party chief and president Xi Jinping is targeting some of the former president’s allies in an anti-corruption drive. A spokesman for Yuyuantan park in Beijing said there were no immediate plans to remove the toad.


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Sources:

Article: Chanel News Asia / Image: China Topix

Chinese reports about a giant inflatable toad have been deleted from the internet after social media users compared the puffed-up animal to a former Communist Party chief. The installation of a giant inflatable duck in Hong Kong's harbour last year sparked a national craze for oversized blow-up wildlife, with several Chinese cities launching their own imitations. The latest, a 22-metre-high (72-feet) toad, appeared in a Beijing park last weekend, but met with mockery from social media users who compared its appearance to that of former President Jiang Zemin. The website of China's official Xinhua news agency and popular web portal Sina had deleted their reports on the animal -- seen as a symbol of good fortune in traditional Chinese culture -- by Wednesday. A message on Xinhua's website read: "Sorry, the report you are attempting to access has been deleted or has expired," although reports on some lower-profile news sites were still accessible. China's ruling Communist Party tightly controls the internet, blocking foreign sites such as Facebook while ordering local outlets to remove articles on political topics it deems sensitive, such as criticism of senior leaders. Last year, China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo blocked searches for "big yellow duck" after users posted an image of the iconic "Tank Man" photograph showing a Tiananmen Square protester but with military vehicles replaced by giant ducks. Jiang -- who stepped down as president in 2002 but still wields influence within the party -- has been mockingly nicknamed "toad" by some Internet users for his jowly features. Rumours have been swirling around Jiang amid reports that current party chief and president Xi Jinping is targeting some of the former president's allies in an anti-corruption drive. A spokesman for Yuyuantan park in Beijing said there were no immediate plans to remove the toad. Learn more in our Global Ready China Seminars Sources: Article: Chanel News Asia / Image: China Topix

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Stefan

Stefan (from Austria, Europe) has been living, studying and working in China since 2010. Stefan has worked on several research, publication and consulting projects focusing on the China Travel Market. He holds three Masters degrees and is an expert on China Outbound Tourism, Marketing and Social Media in China. Stefan works with BMG on the Global Ready China Seminars as well as the Global Ready China News and related projects. He also has teaching engagements in the areas of eMarketing and Tourism Strategy.

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