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RFA: Wechat Restrictions Launched against Users in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Radio Free Asia reported that the Internet police in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region launched an “Internet cleanup” campaign which requires that, if any Wechat account has over ten members, they must make themselves available for the Internet police to inspect. The campaign also warned that no politically sensitive topics, internal notices, news from Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macau, from the Military, or from religions are allowed to circulate and the violators could be subject to a 1 to 8 year jail sentence. The Wechat account owner must also take full responsibility as well.

Source: Radio Free Asia, March 7, 2018
https://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/zhengzhi/ql3-03072018105849.html

Sina.com: The Village Mafia Comes Packaged in a New Outfit

Recently, the central administration issued a notice to launch a crackdown on the local corrupt mafia officials. A posting on Sina.com, provided examples of how local mafia officials monopolize public resources such as the reservoir, the forests, slaughter houses, the farm markets, and the local village transportation route. The article reported that these local mafia officials use their power, violence, and money to advance their own agendas. They are just like the characters in “The Godfather.” They are well mannered, wearing brand name outfits, and operating behind the scenes.

The following are two examples included in the article. A village Mafioso was a well-known bully in 1990 and a drug user who had previously been imprisoned. He went to a southern China region and came back as an entrepreneur. He established close ties with a few of the village officials and gained favorable treatment on the sale of some farm land. No one in the village was brave enough to stand up to him. Another example is a village committee director who had been imprisoned a number of times. He managed to open a few arcades. In 2012, he was “elected” to the position of village committee director, with the help of his “brothers.” He drives a Ferrari and lets other local officials be his business partners and invest in his projects. He is bully, a businessman, and a village official, all in one. The article reported that the locals fear the local mafia force more than they fear the officials because these mafia officials are violent and have power, money, and political connections.

Source: Sina.com, February 28, 2018
http://mil.news.sina.com.cn/2018-02-28/doc-ifyrztfz5199470.shtml

Xinhua: National Internet Information Office to Launch Rules to Protect Weibo Customer Information

According to Xinhua, the National Internet Information Office announced that, starting on March 20, a new set of rules will be effective in order to regulate the security management of Weibo customer’s information and to prevent the faking or leaking of Weibo customers’ personal information. The new regulation consists of 18 sections which include guidelines for Weibo, the service provider’s responsibilities, and the authenticity of ID card verification, for establishing a rumor clarification system, for enabling social supervision, and for providing administrative management.

Source: Xinhua, February 28, 2018
http://www.xinhuanet.com/legal/2018-02/28/c_1122463290.htm

Tightened Online Posting following the Announcement of the Elimination of Term Limits

According to an article that the Epoch Times published, since the news to eliminate term limits for Xi Jinping was announced on February 25, heated discussions have taken place on social media in China. The Chinese authorities quickly started to delete large numbers of online postings, disabled account numbers, and filtered sensitive words. According to the investigation report China Digital Times and Free Weibo published, the authorities screened and blocked sensitive words such as “I disagree,” “immigration,” “migration,” “re-election,” “term limits,” “amendment to the constitution,” and “constitutional provision.” Sina Weibo users are only left with two options on the constitutional amendment topic. They can choose either “like” or “agree,” which has most likely been set up for those from the “50 Cent Army,” which refers to the Internet commentators that the Chinese authorities hire in an attempt to manipulate public opinion to the benefit of those in authority.

Source: Epoch Times, February 26, 2018
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/18/2/26/n10175025.htm

Lianhe Zaobao: Corruption Perceptions Index Ranked Singapore Highest in Asia

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper, Lianhe Zaobao, recently reported that Transparency International just released its 2017 report called the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Singapore obtained a score of 84 (out of 100) showing it to be number six in the global ranking and number one in Asia. New Zealand ranked the highest in the world with a score of 89, followed by Denmark with 88. In Asia, Hong Kong had the global rank of 13 (with a score of 77); Japan ranked 20th (with a score of 73); Taiwan ranked 29th (with a score of 63), and South Korea ranked 51st (with a score of 54). China had a global rank of 77 (with a score of 41). The United States ranked 16th (having moved up from last year’s 18) and Russia dropped to the rank of 135. Among the 180 countries and regions, around two thirds had scores below 50. North Korea had a score of 17. Somalia sat at the bottom with a score of nine.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, February 22, 2018
http://www.zaobao.com.sg/realtime/world/story20180222-837109

200,000 Security Officers Patrol the Streets in Beijing after Man Used Knife to Kill People in Shopping Center

The Epoch Times reported that, at around 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon on February 11, a man used a knife to attack people in the “Joy City” shopping center in Xi Dan district of Beijing. He killed one woman and injured 12 other people. The suspect was arrested on the scene. He was identified as a 35 year old male from Henan Province and allegedly used the knife to attack people to vent his personal anger. Beijing raised the security alert to level 1. Starting at 9:00 p.m. on the same day, 200,000 police were seen patrolling the streets overnight, especially in populated areas such as at public transportation stops, stores open for 24 hours, and businesses open late at night. The next day, over 700,000 people wearing red armbands, a red hat and “Chaoyang resident (indicating a security force consisting of common people)” could be seen patrolling the streets throughout Beijing. People’s online comments following the official media report expressed concerns for public safety and questioned why 200,000 security forces needed to be mobilized to patrol the streets. Other than the official news report on the incident, the rest of the online postings, videos, or news were blocked.

Source: Epoch Times, February 11, 2018
http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/18/2/11/n10135606.htm

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