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Censorship China Politics Your Rights Online

China Quietly Unblocks Names of Its Leaders 39

Posted by timothy
from the how-now-found-mao dept.
hackingbear writes "One of the Chinese Web censorship's central features has long been blocking searches for the names of top leaders to maintain their public images. Sina Weibo, China's largest microblog service, unblocked searches for the names of many top political leaders in a possible sign of looser controls a month after new senior officials were named to head the ruling party, though a number of other senior leaders are still blocked on Weibo, including Premier Web Jiabao. That (President) Xi might be leading by example on softening Web censorship could be a promising sign for future reforms. It isn't on a major shift, but it could portend one."
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China Quietly Unblocks Names of Its Leaders

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  • Re:Or they realized (Score:5, Informative)

    by donscarletti (569232) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @10:00PM (#42283313)

    It's true, although Chinese parents can select any one or two characters to name their child from the thousands of characters in common use and the tens of thousands out of common use, there are a few hundred characters that tend to be used disproportionately often.

    As for surnames, the top 100 most common surnames make up more than 85% of the country's population and over 1/5 of Chinese are called either "Wang", "Li" or "Zhang".

    People having the same name as a leader is quite common. I know at least two guys who cannot write their own name on Weibo because they are called "Li Peng", using the exact same two characters as the former premier (who's name IS still blocked and will be as long as he is still alive for reasons you can look up yourself).

    As for Chaiman Xi, his surname is not particularly common and his given name is not common either, however they are all common words. You cannot ask someone "are you familiar with the nearby plain?" without writing his name for example.

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown