Foreign and Hong Kong news broadcasts in mainland China from "TVB, "CNN International, "BBC World Service, and "Bloomberg Television are occasionally censored by being "blacked out" during controversial segments. It is reported that CNN has made an arrangement that allowed their signal to pass through a Chinese-controlled satellite. Chinese authorities have been able to censor CNN segments at any time in this way. CNN's broadcasts are not widely available throughout China, but rather only in certain diplomatic compounds, hotels, and apartment blocks.
Numerous content which have been blacked out has included references to the "Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the "Dalai Lama, the death of "Zhao Ziyang, the "2008 Tibetan unrest, the "2008 Chinese milk scandal and negative developments about the "Beijing Olympics.
During the "Summer Olympics in Beijing all Chinese TV stations were ordered to delay live broadcasts by 10 seconds, a policy that was designed to give censors time to react in case free-"Tibet demonstrators or others staged political protests. In January 2009, during a television report of the "inauguration of U.S. President "Barack Obama, the state-run "China Central Television abruptly cut away from its coverage of Obama's address when he spoke of how "earlier generations faced down fascism and communism.". Foreign animation is also banned from prime-time viewing hours (5 to 8 pm) to help with domestic animation production.
Like Internet censorship, enforcement in television censorship is increasingly ineffective and difficult because of satellite signal hacking systems which give direct access to channels and programs on any satellite that services the Asian Pacific region.["citation needed]
China has a large diversity of different foreign films broadcast through the media and sold in markets. China has no "motion picture rating system, and films must therefore be deemed suitable by "Chinese censors for all audiences to be allowed to screen.
For foreign-made films, this sometimes means controversial footage must be cut before such films can play in Chinese cinemas. Examples include the removal of a reference to the "Cold War in "Casino Royale, and the omission of footage containing "Chow Yun-fat that "vilifies and humiliates the Chinese" in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Prior to the "2008 Summer Olympics, the PRC administration announced that "wronged spirits and violent ghosts, monsters, demons, and other inhuman portrayals" were banned from audio visual content.
Access to the 12,000 movie screens in China is a powerful incentive for film makers, especially those producing material such as "Kung Fu Panda 3 to consult and cooperate with Chinese censors. Taking a Chinese partner, as was done in the case of Kung Fu Panda 3, can bypass the quota. Despite this, almost all internationally released foreign films are freely available in Chinese- and English-language versions through the counterfeit trade in DVDs.
All audio visual works dealing with "serious topics" such as the "Cultural Revolution must be registered before distribution on the mainland. For example, "The Departed was not given permission to screen because it suggested that the government intends to use nuclear weapons on Taiwan. Films with sexually explicit themes have also been banned, including "Farewell My Concubine, "Brokeback Mountain and "Memoirs of a Geisha. Warner Brothers never submitted "The Dark Knight for censors, citing "Cultural sensitivities in some elements of the film" due to the appearance by a Hong Kong singer whose sexually explicit photographs leaked onto the internet. Films by PRC nationals cannot be submitted to foreign film festivals without government approval.
On 16 December 2012, the film "V for Vendetta was aired unedited on "CCTV-6, which raised hopes that China is loosening censorship. However, in August 2014 government officials caused the shutdown of the "Beijing Independent Film Festival, an annual event for independent Chinese filmmakers to showcases their latest works. It was understood by the organizers the government was concerned the festival would be used as a forum to criticize the government.
China's state-run General Administration of Press and Publication (新闻出版总署) screens all "Chinese literature that is intended to be sold on the open market. The GAPP has the legal authority to screen, censor, and ban any print, electronic, or Internet publication in China. Because all publishers in China are required to be licensed by the GAPP, that agency also has the power to deny people the right to publish, and completely shut down any publisher who fails to follow its dictates. Resultingly, the ratio of official-to-unlicensed books is said to be 40:60. According to a report in ZonaEuropa, there are more than 4,000 underground publishing factories around China. The Chinese government continues to hold public book burnings on unapproved yet popular "spiritual pollution" literature, though critics claim this spotlight on individual titles only helps fuel booksales. Publishing in Hong Kong remains uncensored. Publishers such as New Century Press freely publish books, including lurid fictional accounts, about Chinese officials and forbidden episodes of Chinese history. Banned material including imported material such as that published by Mirror Books of New York City are sold in bookshops such as "People's Commune bookstore" patronized by shoppers from the mainland.
The album "Chinese Democracy by American rock band "Guns N' Roses is banned in China, reportedly due to supposed criticism in its "title track of the "government and a reference to the currently persecuted "Falun Gong spiritual movement. The government said through a state controlled newspaper that it "turns its spear point on China". Also banned is the track "Communist China" by British punk rock group "Japan.
The album "X by Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue was released as a 10-track edition of the album by "EMI Records. The album got three tracks banned due to strict censorship in the People's Republic of China. The tracks that were omitted were "Nu-di-ty", "Speakerphone" and "Like a Drug".
China has historically issued bans to music acts who proclaim support of "Tibetan independence or otherwise interact with the "Dalai Lama, such as "Oasis—which had concerts cancelled after lead singer "Noel Gallagher had performed in a concert to benefit the movement, "Maroon 5—which had concerts cancelled after a band member made a "Twitter post celebrating his 80th birthday, and "Lady Gaga—who became the subject of a ban issued by the "Publicity Department after having posted an online video of her meeting with him.
China's Internet censorship is regarded by many as the most pervasive and sophisticated in the world. The system for blocking sites and articles is referred to as ""The Great Firewall of China". According to a Harvard study conducted in 2002, at least 18,000 websites were blocked from within the country, and the number is believed to have been growing constantly. Banned sites include YouTube (from March 2009), Facebook (from July 2009), Google services (including "Search, "Google+, "Maps, "Docs, "Drive, "Sites, and "Picasa), Twitter, "Dropbox, "Foursquare, and "Flickr. "Certain search engine terms are blocked as well. All versions of YouTube have been completely unavailable in China since April 2009.
On the Internet, people use proxy websites that allow anonymous access to otherwise restricted websites, services, and information. "Falun Gong and others have been working in the field of anti-censorship software development.
Reporters in the western media have also suggested that China's Internet censorship of foreign websites may also be a means of forcing mainland Chinese users to rely on China's own e-commerce industry, thus self-insulating their economy. In 2011 although China-based users of many Google services such as "Google+ did not always find the services entirely blocked, they were nonetheless throttled such that users could be expected to become frustrated with the frequent timeouts and switch to the faster, more reliable services of Chinese competitors. According to "BBC, local Chinese businesses such as "Baidu, "Tencent and "Alibaba, some of the world's largest internet enterprises, benefited from the way China has "blocked international rivals from the market, encouraging domestic competition.
Short message service
According to Reporters without Borders, China has over 2,800 "short message service (text messaging) surveillance centers. As of early 2010, cell phone users in Shanghai and Beijing risk having their text messaging service cut off if they are found to have sent "illegal or unhealthy" content.
In 2003, "during the severe-acute-respiratory-syndrome (SARS) outbreak, a dozen Chinese were reportedly arrested for sending text messages about SARS. "Skype reported that it was required to filter messages passing through its service for words like "Falun Gong" and "Dalai Lama" before being allowed to operate in China.
During protests over a proposed chemical plant in "Xiamen during the summer of 2007, text messaging was blocked to prevent the rallying of more protesters.
In 2004, the Ministry of Culture set up a committee to screen imported online video games before they entered the Chinese market. It was stated that games with any of the following violations would be banned from importation:
- Violating basic principles of "the Constitution
- Threatening national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity
- Divulging state secrets
- Threatening state security
- Damaging the nation's glory
- Disturbing social order
- Infringing on others' legitimate rights
The State General Administration of Press and Publication and anti-porn and illegal publication offices have also played a role in screening games.
Examples of banned games have included:
- "Hearts of Iron (for "distorting history and damaging China's sovereignty and territorial integrity")
- "I.G.I.-2: Covert Strike (for "intentionally blackening China and the Chinese army's image")
- "Command & Conquer: Generals – Zero Hour (for "smearing the image of China and the Chinese army")
The historic ban of major "video game consoles in the country was lifted in 2014 as part of the establishment of the "Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Consoles had been banned under a rule enacted in 2000 to combat the perceived corrupting influence of video games on young people.
Educational institutions within China have been accused of "whitewashing PRC history by downplaying or avoiding mention of controversial historical events such as the "Great Leap Forward, "Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
In 2005, customs officials in China seized a shipment of textbooks intended for a Japanese school because maps in the books depicted mainland China and Taiwan using different colors.
In a January 2006 issue of Freezing Point, a weekly supplement to the "China Youth Daily, "Zhongshan University professor "Yuan Weishi published an article entitled "Modernization and History Textbooks" in which he criticized several "middle school textbooks used in mainland China. In particular, he felt that depictions in the books of the "Second Opium War avoided mention of Chinese diplomatic failures leading up to the war and that depictions of the "Boxer Rebellion glossed over atrocities committed by the Boxer rebels. As a result of Yuan's article, Freezing Point was temporarily shut down and its editors were fired.
New Threads, a website for reporting academic misconduct in China such as plagiarism or fabrication of data, is banned in China.
A new standard world history textbook introduced in Shanghai high schools in 2006 supposedly omits several wars; it mentions "Mao Zedong, founder of the PRC, only once.
In a "FRONTLINE segment, four students from "Peking University are seemingly unable to identify the context of the infamous "Tank Man photo from the 1989 unrest sparked by "Peking University students, though possibly, the students were feigning ignorance so as not to upset the party official who was monitoring the interview with clipboard in hand. The segment implied that the subject is not addressed in Chinese schools.
On 4 June 2007, a person was able to place a small ad in a newspaper in southwest China to commemorate the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests reading "Paying tribute to the strong(-willed) mothers of 4 June victims". The accepting clerk claimed that he was ignorant of the event and believed that 4 June was the date of a mining disaster.
A confidential internal directive widely circulated within the Communist Party of China, "Concerning the Situation in the Ideological Sphere (關於當前意識形態領域情況的通報), prohibiting discussion of seven topics was issued in May 2013. Included on the list of prohibited topics were: western constitutional democracy, universal values of human rights, western conceptions of media independence and civil society, pro-market neo-liberalism, and "Nihilist” criticisms of past errors of the party.
Censorship during China's Great Cultural Revolution
The goal of the "Cultural Revolution was to get rid of the ""four olds" ("old customs," "old culture," "old habits," and "old ideas"). If newspapers touched on sensitive topics like these, the journalists were subject to arrests and sometimes violence. Libraries in which there were books containing "offensive literature" would often be burned down. Television was regulated by the government and its goal was to encourage the efforts of chairman Mao Zedong and the Communist Party. Radio was the same way, and played songs such as, "The Great Cultural Revolution is Indeed Good".
Responses from society
Although being independent from the mainland's legal system and hence censorship laws, some "Hong Kong media have been accused of practicing "self-censorship in order to exchange for permission to expand their media business into the mainland market and for greater journalistic access in the mainland too.
At the launch of a joint report published by the "Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) and ""ARTICLE 19" in July 2001, the Chairman of the HKJA said: "More and more newspapers self-censor themselves because they are controlled by either a businessman with close ties to Beijing, or part of a large enterprise, which has financial interests over the border." For example, "Robert Kuok, who has business interests all over Asia, has been criticized over the departures of several China desk staff in rapid succession since he acquired the "South China Morning Post, namely the editorial pages editor Danny Gittings, Beijing correspondent Jasper Becker, and China pages editor Willy Lam. Lam, in particular departed after his reporting had been publicly criticized by Robert Kuok.
International corporations such as "Google, "Microsoft, MySpace, and "Yahoo! voluntarily censor their content for Chinese markets in order to be allowed to do business in the country. In October 2008, Canadian research group "Citizen Lab released a new report saying "TOM's Chinese-language "Skype software filtered sensitive words and then logged these, with users' information to a file on computer servers which were insecure. In September 2007, activists in China had already warned about the possibility that TOM's versions have or will have more "trojan capability. Skype president Josh Silverman said it was "common knowledge" that Tom Online had "established procedures to meet local laws and regulations ... to monitor and block instant messages containing certain words deemed offensive by the Chinese authorities."
Publishers and other media in the Western world have sometimes used the "Banned in China" label to market cultural works, with the hope that censored products are seen as more valuable or attractive. The label was also used by "Penguin Books to sell "Mo Yan's novel "The Garlic Ballads, which had been pulled from bookshelves because of its themes (anti-government riots) being published so close to a period of actual riots. However, the book was allowed to be sold in China in a few years. Political scientist Richard Curt Kraus criticized Penguin for falsely portraying Mo Yan as a dissident in order to increase his marketability, as well as the underlying assumption that if the United States bans some work, that it must be genuinely obscene, but that if the Chinese government does the same, it is acting on purely political grounds.
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