Business

China pushes back against opinionated blogs

BEIJING — Best-selling Chinese author Murong Xuecun had nearly 4 million followers on his Twitter-like microblog. One day in May his account disappeared. So did his profiles on several other social media sites. No explanation was given, but one is starting to emerge.

Many famous Chinese — from pop stars to scholars, journalists to business tycoons — have amassed substantial online followings, and these larger-than-life personalities don’t always hew to the Communist Party line. Now Beijing is tightening its grip on China’s already heavily restricted Internet by making influential microbloggers uncomfortable when they post material the government doesn’t like.

Murong, whose real name is Hao Qun, is among those whose microblog accounts have been silenced in recent months. Over the past two weeks, Internet censors have called microbloggers to meetings and state media have accused some of undermining socialism and promoting Western values through lies and negative news.

It is a development that dims hopes China’s new Communist Party leadership under Xi Jinping will tolerate more freewheeling discussion on the Internet and in the official media.

Many of the online personalities call attention to social injustices and question government policies. Some are advocates for democracy, freedom of speech and human rights, and others are radicals who believe China has strayed from its communist roots.



Click here to comment on this story »



Saving for the future

sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.



Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile