Jeremy Goldkorn

China has a wide range of filters on its internet, but Chinese users have developed a set of tools to circumvent the censorship of certain banned words, tells China internet watcher Jeremy Goldkorn in The Brisbane Times. Premier Wen Jiabao as teletubby.

The Brisbane Times:

Teletubby” is code for Wen Jiabao, who chided Bo publicly before his ousting – the Chinese version of the children’s TV show, Tianxianbaobao, shares a character with the Premier’s name. The popular instant noodle brand Master Kong is known as Kang Shifu in Chinese and stands in for Zhou Yongkang, who is reportedly supportive of Bo.

”Tomato has retreated; what flavour will Master Kong still have?” asked another user.

In keeping with the food theme, the former Chongqing party boss has been dubbed ”tomato” or ”xihongshi”.

”It’s the classic way that people have evaded keyword filtering: using puns, homonyms, abbreviations or English acronyms of Chinese names,” said Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei, a website on Chinese media.

”Some are pretty standard, like zhengfu [government] becoming ZF. But a lot of the ones in the last few days are new. With this last round – like Master Kong – you would have to be following internet chatter [regularly] to really get them.”

Offbeat China, a blog that spotted the spate of references, said at one point ”Master Kong” was the seventh most searched-for term on Sina’s popular Weibo service.

More in the Brisbane Times

Jeremy Goldkorn is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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