Angry Chinese people are using the US embassy’s social media to evade censorship

Angry Chinese people are using the US embassy’s social media to evade censorship

Beijing skyline.
Construction Photography/Avalon / Contributor

  • A social media account belonging to China’s US embassy has been flooded by angry investors.
  • Thousands of people have commented on the dire situation of the stock exchange on the post about giraffes.
  • Some of the comments were reportedly deleted, while others used sarcasm to avoid censorship.

Angry at the state of their country’s economy, Chinese investors are using a difficult forum to vent their frustrations: a post about giraffes on the US embassy’s Weibo account.

A post on Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms, about how African scientists are using artificial intelligence and GPS to track and protect wild giraffes has received more than 165,400 comments.

Commenters took the opportunity to share unrelated complaints about China’s failing economy, hoping their comments wouldn’t be deleted by Chinese censors.

China’s blue-chip CSI300 Index fell 6.3% last month to a five-year low as a series of government measures failed to win confidence among investors, according to Reuters.

Bloomberg reported that Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets have accumulated $7 trillion in losses since their 2021 peak.

According to Reuters, the Weibo account of the US Embassy in China has “become the Wailing Wall of Chinese retail equity investors,” one user wrote in a post.

Most of the comments were later deleted, CNN reported. The situation shows how government censorship and citizens’ efforts to remain silent have reached new heights.

The US Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“US government, please help Chinese stock investors,” one person wrote in a repost of the Weibo article, according to CNN.

Bloomberg reported that other Weibo users commented that the stock market is a “casino” and an “execution ground”.

“Anger has reached extremes,” said another Weibo user, according to Bloomberg.

Some commentators have used humor and sarcasm to get around the country’s strict social media restrictions.

“Arise! All giraffes who refuse to be slaves,” one person wrote, referring to a line in China’s national anthem. “Arise! All who refuse to be slaves,” according to CNN.

According to CNN, another person commented: “The whole giraffe community is full of optimism.” The comment refers to an article in China’s state-owned People’s Daily newspaper about the German communist politician’s visit, titled “The Whole Country Is Full of Optimism.”

China has one of the world’s most censored media industries, with digital news and social media use severely restricted across the country.

Some social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are banned and the government controls permitted social media platforms such as Weibo.

The apparent censorship is important – it appears to be part of the government’s campaign to silence critics of the country’s finances. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported that authorities had removed many Chinese online news articles critical of the country’s economy.

Writing on its official WeChat account, China’s Ministry of State Security warned citizens against believing “false narratives” about China’s trajectory, according to a NYT report. Meanwhile, senior officials spoke openly about the importance of raising “the bright prospects of China’s economy,” the Journal reported.

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