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, Sep 24, 2015

Apple blocked CNNIC CA months after MITM attacks

In March of this year, Google found unauthorized digital certificates for several Google domains. The root certificate authority for these domains was the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). CNNIC was controlled by the Chinese government through the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and is now under the management of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC). CNNIC was recognized by all major browsers as a trusted Certificate Authority. If CNNIC signs a fake certificate used in a man-in-the-middle attack, no browser will warn of any unusual activity unless the certificate is pinned.

Wed, Sep 23, 2015

Malicious Xcode could spread via download manager Xunlei

What’s at stake?

We reported last week that popular Chinese iOS apps were compromised in an unprecedented malware attack. We discovered that the source of the infection was compromised copies of Xcode hosted on Baidu Pan. Apple has published an article urging developers to download Xcode directly from the Mac App Store, or from the Apple Developer website and validate signatures. We’ve now discovered that even if a developer uses a download link seemingly from Apple, he might still be possible to obtain a compromised copy of Xcode.

Please note that we do not have evidence that such attacks has happened. But it is an easy attack that anyone can implement.

How does it work?

This compromise happened because of Xunlei. Xunlei is the most popular download manager in China. Much of its popularity is due to the fact they can accelerate download speeds by pulling resources from other Xunlei users as well as cached copies on the Xunlei server. All of this, however, is invisible to users. Users can simply enter a regular http download address into Xunlei  download manager and the download will start. Chinese developers were using direct download addresses such as to download Xcode.

Mon, Sep 21, 2015



Sat, Sep 19, 2015

Popular Chinese iOS apps compromised in unprecedented malware attack

What happened?

According to recent reports, some versions of Xcode used by developers in China have been compromised and are being used to inject tracking codes in iOS apps without developer knowledge. (1,2). Unaware of the injection, those developers then released their compromised iOS apps to the App Store which were then later approved by Apple. At the time of writing this post, the compromised apps are still available in the App store. Any user who has installed and launched these compromised apps will be a victim of these tracking codes.

This is a significant compromise of Apple’s app store. Apple notoriously manually reviews all app submissions and, in comparison to Android stores, has been relatively malware-free. This is the most widespread and significant spread of malware in the history of the Apple app store, anywhere in the world.

The compromised version of Xcode was hosted on Baidu Pan. It is unlikely that Baidu was aware of the compromised version of Xcode. The company removed the files yesterday when news of the compromise surfaced. Because of slow download speeds from foreign websites in China, many Chinese developers prefer to download apps from domestic websites. Many Chinese also use download software like Xunlei, rather than downloading directly from the official Mac App Store.

According to users reports, many prominent Chinese apps are affected. We have included links to the compromised apps in the list below but DO NOT DOWNLOAD these apps. We are simply linking to them so that users can recognize the apps. Affected apps include:  

Wechat The most popolar messaging app in China 

Wed, Sep 16, 2015



Roya, David, Nick, nweaver, Vern, 和我刚刚完成了关于GFW主动探测系统的研究。这个系统在几年前就被用来探测翻墙工具,比如Tor。我们在之前的博文中介绍过GFW主动探测系统是如何工作的。但有几个问题我们没有回答。比如这个系统的物理结构是怎样的。那些用来主动探测的IP是归GFW所有的么? 有猜测GFW短时间内劫持了部分IP来用来主动探测,但没有证据。这次研究回答了这些问题。


  • 通常来说,如果Tor的某个网桥代理被GFW检测并封锁,它会一直被封锁。但是这意味着网桥代理完全无法访问吗? 我们让中国的VPS一直连接我们控制的网桥代理。我们发现,每25小时,中国的VPS可以短暂的连接到我们的代理网桥。下图显示了这个现象。每个数据点表示中国的VPS试图与网桥代理建立连接。中国联通和中国教育网都有这个周期性现象。有时候,网络安全设备在更新规则时会默认允许所有流量,但我们不知道GFW周期性现象是不是因为这个原因导致的。

  • 我们找到了规律,GFW主动探测的TCP头暗示那几千个IP都来自与同一个地方。下图显示了数据包的初始序号和时间。每个数据点都是一个主动探测连接。如果每个主动探测都是从不同地方发出的,我们应该看到随机的数据点,因为数据包的初始序号是随机选择的。但是下图显示主动探测连接虽然来自不同IP,但是非常有规律。我们认为主动探测的初始序号是按照时间产生的。


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