Government reset - Hu's blocked and who's not in the Chinese Politburo

China's top leadership body is the Politburo which has 25 members. Of these, nine make up the Standing Committee which is the Chinese government's most important decision-making group. Seven of the nine are expected to be replaced this year. One of the candidates to fill these vacancies, Bo Xilai, was recently ousted in a scandal. Not surprisingly, much of the reporting on this incident is censored in China. More surprising, perhaps, is that all other members of the Politburo are censored on the Chinese Internet.

The following is a summary of all Politburo members and whether they are censored on Baidu, Google and Wikipedia, searching for their names in Chinese or Pinyin, respectively. Censorship on Baidu is marked in yellow and refers to confirmed self-censorship. Censorship on Google and Wikipedia is marked in red and refers to complete blocking of those pages. You can click on either to get more info on the results, or to test again in real time.

The discrepancy in results between Chinese character searches and searches in Pinyin may shed a little light on who is deemed to be a true danger when it comes to censorship.

 

Politburo Standing Committee

Rank名字, Name百度, Baidu谷歌, Google維基百科, Wikipedia
1胡锦涛baidu: 胡锦涛google: 胡锦涛zh.wikipedia: 胡锦涛
 Hu Jintaobaidu: Hu Jintaogoogle: Hu Jintaoen.wikipedia: Hu Jintao
2吴邦国baidu: 吴邦国google: 吴邦国zh.wikipedia: 吴邦国
 Wu Bangguobaidu: Wu Bangguogoogle: Wu Bangguoen.wikipedia: Wu Bangguo
3温家宝baidu: 温家宝google: 温家宝zh.wikipedia: 温家宝
 Wen Jiabaobaidu: Wen Jiabaogoogle: Wen Jiabaoen.wikipedia: Wen Jiabao
4贾庆林baidu: 贾庆林google: 贾庆林zh.wikipedia: 贾庆林
 Jia Qinglinbaidu: Jia Qinglingoogle: Jia Qinglinen.wikipedia: Jia Qinglin
5李长春baidu: 李长春google: 李长春zh.wikipedia: 李长春
 Li Changchunbaidu: Li Changchungoogle: Li Changchunen.wikipedia: Li Changchun
6习近平baidu: 习近平google: 习近平zh.wikipedia: 习近平
 Xi Jinpingbaidu: Xi Jinpinggoogle: Xi Jinpingen.wikipedia: Xi Jinping
7李克强baidu: 李克强google: 李克强zh.wikipedia: 李克强
 Li Keqiangbaidu: Li Keqianggoogle: Li Keqiangen.wikipedia: Li Keqiang
8贺国强baidu: 贺国强google: 贺国强zh.wikipedia: 贺国强
 He Guoqiangbaidu: He Guoqianggoogle: He Guoqiangen.wikipedia: He Guoqiang
9周永康baidu: 周永康google: 周永康zh.wikipedia: 周永康
 Zhou Yongkangbaidu: Zhou Yongkanggoogle: Zhou Yongkangzh.wikipedia: Zhou Yongkang

Other Politburo Members

名字, Name百度, Baidu谷歌, Google維基百科, Wikipedia
薄熙来baidu: 薄熙来google: 薄熙来zh.wikipedia: 薄熙来
Bo Xilaibaidu: Bo Xilaigoogle: Bo Xilaien.wikipedia: Bo Xilai
郭伯雄baidu: 郭伯雄google: 郭伯雄zh.wikipedia: 郭伯雄
Guo Boxiongbaidu: Guo Boxionggoogle: Guo Boxiongen.wikipedia: Guo Boxiong
回良玉baidu: 回良玉google: 回良玉zh.wikipedia: 回良玉
Hui Liangyubaidu: Hui Liangyugoogle: Hui Liangyuen.wikipedia: Hui Liangyu
李源潮baidu: 李源潮google: 李源潮zh.wikipedia: 李源潮
Li Yuanchaobaidu: Li Yuanchaogoogle: Li Yuanchaoen.wikipedia: Li Yuanchao
刘淇baidu: 刘淇google: 刘淇zh.wikipedia: 刘淇
Liu Qibaidu: Liu Qigoogle: Liu Qien.wikipedia: Liu_Qi_(politician)
刘延东baidu: 刘延东google: 刘延东zh.wikipedia: 刘延东
Liu Yandongbaidu: Liu Yandonggoogle: Liu Yandongen.wikipedia: Liu Yandong
刘云山baidu: 刘云山google: 刘云山zh.wikipedia: 刘云山
Liu Yunshanbaidu: Liu Yunshangoogle: Liu Yunshanen.wikipedia: Liu Yunshan
王刚baidu: 王刚google: 王刚zh.wikipedia: 王刚_(政治人物)
Wang Gangbaidu: Wang Ganggoogle: Wang Gangen.wikipedia: Wang_Gang_(politician)
王乐泉baidu: 王乐泉google: 王乐泉zh.wikipedia: 王乐泉
Wang Lequanbaidu: Wang Lequangoogle: Wang Lequanen.wikipedia: Wang Lequan
王岐山baidu: 王岐山google: 王岐山zh.wikipedia: 王岐山
Wang Qishanbaidu: Wang Qishangoogle: Wang Qishanen.wikipedia: Wang Qishan
汪洋baidu: 汪洋google: 汪洋zh.wikipedia: 汪洋
Wang Yangbaidu: Wang Yanggoogle: Wang Yangen.wikipedia: Wang_Yang_(politician)
王兆国baidu: 王兆国google: 王兆国zh.wikipedia: 王兆国
Wang Zhaoguobaidu: Wang Zhaoguogoogle: Wang Zhaoguoen.wikipedia: Wang Zhaoguo
徐才厚baidu: 徐才厚google: 徐才厚zh.wikipedia: 徐才厚
Xu Caihoubaidu: Xu Caihougoogle: Xu Caihouen.wikipedia: Xu Caihou
俞正声baidu: 俞正声google: 俞正声zh.wikipedia: 俞正声
Yu Zhengshengbaidu: Yu Zhengshenggoogle: Yu Zhengshengen.wikipedia: Yu Zhengsheng
张德江baidu: 张德江google: 张德江zh.wikipedia: 张德江
Zhang Dejiangbaidu: Zhang Dejianggoogle: Zhang Dejiangen.wikipedia: Zhang Dejiang
张高丽baidu: 张高丽google: 张高丽zh.wikipedia: 张高丽
Zhang Gaolibaidu: Zhang Gaoligoogle: Zhang Gaolien.wikipedia: Zhang Gaoli

Some results are inconclusive. Here are some possible reasons for this:

  1. There are occasional glitches in the Great Firewall of China. Generally unblocked keywords can sometimes be unaccessible for a range of reasons. Likewise, generally blocked keywords or websites can occassionally be accessible.
  2. A yellow mark for Google or Wikipedia means that the page was very slow to load, not that it was blocked. Foreign websites are generally slow to access from China; some are sometimes or always particilarly slow.
  3. The data may include genuine changes over time. Most of these keywords have only been added to our database for testing recently. But you can click on all of them to view their history and test them again in real time.

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Thu, Nov 30, 2017

About those 674 apps that Apple censored in China

Apple opened the door on its censorship practices in China - but just a crack.

Tue, May 23, 2017

Is China establishing cyber sovereignty in the United States?

Last week Twitter came under attack from a DDoS attack orchestrated by the Chinese authorities. While such attacks are not uncommon for websites like Twitter, this one proved unusual. While the Chinese authorities use the Great Firewall to block harmful content from reaching its citizens, it now uses DDoS attacks to take down content that appears on websites beyond its borders. For the Chinese authorities, it is not simply good enough to “protect” the interests of Chinese citizens at home - in their view of cyber sovereignty, any content that might harm China’s interests must be removed, regardless of where the website is located.

And so last week the Chinese authorities determined that Twitter was the target. In particular, the authorities targeted the Twitter account for Guo Wengui (https://twitter.com/KwokMiles), the rebel billionaire who is slowly leaking information about corrupt Chinese government officials via his Twitter account and through his YouTube videos. Guo appeared to ramp up his whistle-blowing efforts last week and the Chinese authorities, in turn, ramped up theirs.

via https://twitter.com/KwokMiles/status/863689935798374401

Mon, Dec 12, 2016

China is the obstacle to Google’s plan to end internet censorship

It’s been three years since Eric Schmidt proclaimed that Google would chart a course to ending online censorship within ten years. Now is a great time to check on Google’s progress, reassess the landscape, benchmark Google’s efforts against others who share the same goal, postulate on the China strategy and offer suggestions on how they might effectively move forward.

flowers on google china plaque

Flowers left outside Google China’s headquarters after its announcement it might leave the country in 2010. Photo: Wikicommons.

What has Google accomplished since November 2013?

The first thing they have accomplished is an entire rebranding of both Google (now Alphabet) and Google Ideas (now Jigsaw). Throughout this blog post, reference is made to both new and old company names.

Google has started to develop two main tools which they believe can help in the fight against censorship. Jigsaw’s DDoS protection service, Project Shield, is effectively preventing censorship-inspired DDoS attacks and recently helped to repel an attack on Brian Krebs’ blog. The service is similar to other anti-DDoS services developed by internet freedom champions and for-profit services like Cloudflare.

Thu, Nov 24, 2016

Facebook: Please, not like this

Facebook is considering launching a censorship tool that would enable the world’s biggest social network to “enter” the China market. Sadly, nobody will be surprised by anything that Mark Zuckerberg decides to do in order to enter the China market. With such low expectations, Facebook is poised to usurp Apple as China’s favorite foreign intelligence gathering partner. If the company launches in China using this strategy they will also successfully erase any bargaining power that other media organizations may hold with the Chinese authorities.

Tue, Jul 05, 2016

GreatFire.org now testing VPN speed and stability in China

There is a commonly held belief in China that if you have a VPN that works then you should keep quiet about it. In terms of freedom of access to information, the problem with this approach is that access to knowledge suddenly is a secret. Today we are launching a project that we hope will destroy that model.

Our newest website, Circumvention Central (CC), aims to provide real-time information and data about circumvention solutions that work in China. Since 2011, we have been collecting data about blocked websites in China and now we will add data about the effectiveness of VPNs and other circumvention tools.

We are launching CC with four main objectives in mind.

Our first objective is to help to grow the number of Chinese who circumvent censorship restrictions in China. By sharing our information and data about these tools, we hope to show a wider audience which circumvention tools are working.

Our second objective is to improve the circumvention experience for users in China by bringing transparency to tool performance. We will measure these tools on speed (how quickly popular websites are loaded) and on stability (the extent to which popular websites load successfully).

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