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Duowei News: China Uses Social Media to Monitor Activities of its Own Citizens

An article that Duowei published shared the information on how WeChat spies on the activities of residents in China. The article said that the totalitarian government is always there to monitor activities of its citizens and the large sum of information collected on social media has made it easier for the government to exercise control. It also stated that Chinese authorities not only monitor public postings but also screen sensitive words on private messages and in chat rooms. In addition to WeChat and Weibo, the Chinese authorities are also capable of collecting chat conversations, using Chinese Skype versions called “Tom Skype,” as well as other types of applications. Meanwhile China is constructing a social credit system to monitor and analyze the activities and behaviors of Chinese citizen from economic, political, social, and living situations. The system is expected to be completed by 2020.  The article pointed out, “The difference between how the information collected from social media is used in Western democratic countries versus China is that there are legal regulations to protect the citizens’ private information in the West while Chinese authorities can access citizens’ private information based on the national security law and the new Internet security regulations.”

Source: Duowei, April 1, 2017你好老大哥中国是如何通过app监控民众的/a-38249393?&zhongwen=simp

Xinhua: Citizens Who Report Tips on Spying Activities Will Receive a Monetary Award

Xinhua reported that, on April 10, the Beijing Public Security Bureau issued a notice which announced that it will issue a 100,000 to 200,000 yuan (US$14,485 to $28,971) award to any citizens who provide tips that will prevent spying activities that endanger China’s security. The notice listed a number of ways to report the tips, including telephone and mail. It also stated that the Public Security Bureau will ensure the confidentiality of those who provide tips while providing protective measures for those who might face risks to their personal safety. The notice also advised that those who provide fake or false information that endangers the safety of other individuals will be subject to legal responsibility.

Source: Xinhua, April 10, 2017

South China Morning Post: Son Committed Murder to Save His Mom

The South China Morning Post carried an article about an incident involving a young man who killed the people who were harassing and assaulting him and his mother because she could not repay her debt which included interest at the rate of 10 percent per month. The article resulted in widespread attention on the Internet.

Su Yingxia, a businesswoman in Shandong Province was unable to pay back 135 million yuan (US$19.63 million) an amount which included interest that accumulated at the rate of 10 percent per month on money she borrowed from a private company. On April 14, 2016, 11 debt collectors surrounded her and her 22 year old son Yu Huan and harassed them for over an hour. The debt collectors hurled verbal abuse at them, slapped their faces, and beat them. The mother was sexually insulted in front of her son. According to the eye witness, after the police arrived at the scene, they told the debt collectors that it is fine to try to collect the debt but they can’t beat people up. Then the police just left. Realizing that the police were not going to do anything, Yu Huan grabbed a knife and stabbed four people. One of them died on the way to the hospital and three others were injured. On February 17, 2017, Yu Huan was sentenced to life imprisonment and is currently appealing his case.

The article also disclosed that both the owner of the private firm and the collector who was killed had connections with a gang organization. The private firm was registered in the name of a real estate company but in its operations it sold high interest rate loans and had a debt collection business in which it hired local unemployed people. After the incident, 22 companies in the region came up with over 100,000 yuan  (US$ 14,540) in donations to help Su Yingxia with her son’s legal fees because they had had similar experiences and were sympathetic about her situation.

There were over 250 comments posted about the article. People were sad and disappointed. Some expressed anger towards the police for failing to stop the tragedy. Some people praised the South China Morning Post for having the courage to be the first media to cover the story.

Source: South China Morning Post, March 24, 2017

A Chinese Surveyor Detained for Comments Made Online published an article about a person who was detained for 5 days for his online posting. A few online comments on the article are translated below. According to the article, a person whose last name is Ye works as surveyor in Xi’an. Ye was on a work assignment in the Town of Tongmu in Xunyang County of An Kang City in Shaanxi. On March 9, Ye went to the Tongmu town hall to process some paperwork but he felt that the town personnel gave him a hard time. He then took a picture of the town hall building using his cell phone and shared the posting of the photos with his friends and asked, “How many years of a jail sentence would I get if I were to bomb the town hall building? I am thinking of doing it!” The article stated that, a few days later, the public security bureau of Xunyang County detained Ye for five days for “threatening to bomb and disrupting public order.”

Below is a list of comments posted in reaction to this article:
– I wanted to condemn his action when I read the title of the article but after I read the contents I chose to support his action.
– Here is a big question, “For whom is the power used?”
– Justice naturally inhabits man’s heart.
– I bet you his circle of friends turned him in.
– Why didn’t the article mention why he made those comments?
– He was just venting his anger, but now he might be transformed.
– I want to blow up the sun and let the earth be destroyed by pieces from the explosion. … How about asking the entire world to arrest me?

Source:, March 17, 2017

Official Document Shows Police Have Been Monitoring and Controlling the Protests against Lotte Mart

According to a news report that Duowei published, a photo image of a document that Cangzhou City of Hebei Province issued showed that the city officials have issued directives to monitor and control the protests against Lotte Mart, a Korean supermarket {Lotte gave up a golf course it owns in South Korea for deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system}. The document titled “assigned responsibilities to maintain stability in dealing with protests against Korea” requires that the local public and national security bureaus collect relevant information and conduct investigations of the protesters. The news report also mentioned that, based on the video tapes circulating on the Internet, police officers can be seen near Lotte Mart in Chengdu City of Sichuan Province maintaining security order while some of them have been dispersing the protesters near the Lotte Mart.

Source: Duowei News, March 12, 2017

New Regulation Prohibits Sale or Purchase of Foreign Publications through Taobao Online Platform

On March 3, Taobao, a popular Chinese online merchant platform which the Alibaba Group founded and which is similar to Amazon , released a notice about a new rule for online customers. The rule prohibits the sale or purchase of foreign publications through the Taobao platform. The provisions will be effective on March 10, 2017. The notice shows that all publications outside the mainland are regarded as foreign publications, including those from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and other overseas regions. In addition, those sellers who have licenses for publication businesses cannot post any advertising related to the sale or purchase of overseas publications.

Source: Sohu, March 5, 2017

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