Social media

People line up to be tested for Covid-19 next to a poster showing China's President Xi Jinping on a bulletin board in Beijing, China, on 31 August 2022. (Jade Gao/AFP)

China censors discussion on WHO's assessment of pandemic

Despite state media dispelling the misunderstanding that China’s zero-Covid policy would become a long-lasting basic national policy, Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong notes that the Chinese people are still wary of how much longer the strict measures will persist, especially amid the sudden censorship of specific search terms related to the end of the pandemic on social media. Is there an end in sight for the strict anti-epidemic measures?
Internet personality Sima Nan is caught in yet another storm of polarised public opinion. (Wikimedia)

'Patriotic' Chinese internet celebrity attacked by netizens for owning US house

Some Chinese netizens are furious with internet personality Sima Nan, known for his anti-US rhetoric, for owning a house in the US. Sima has blamed the onslaught of public opinion on Lenovo, claiming that the enterprise has plotted against him. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan suggests that people such as Sima who incite disputes and conspiracy theories will gradually lose ground in China's online public space.
A worker wearing protective gear and standing behind a fence in a residential area under Covid-19 lockdown talks with a man on a scooter in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, China, on 16 June 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Singaporean in China: The Chinese netizens speaking up for their fellow men

Chinese netizens may get things wrong or even be out of line sometimes, but it is also their persistence in speaking up on Chinese social media that has got the authorities on their toes. At the very least, their willingness to make a stand shows they have a certain faith and hope in their fellow countrymen and their government to effect change.
Eileen Gu at the Beijing Winter Olympics, 10 February 2022. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Chinese netizens questioning Eileen Gu's identity and loyalty

Skiing star Eileen Gu has announced that she will be an ambassador for Salt Lake City’s bid for the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics, sparking online debate in China. In today's increasingly polarised world, can a "globalised" person gain acceptance and recognition from conflicting parties and be that communicator of goodwill?
Chinese textbook illustrations have come under fire.

Suggestive Chinese textbook illustrations: An infiltration by the West?

Recently, there has been an uproar in China over illustrations in school textbooks, with comments that the characters drawn are “ugly”, with some depicted in suggestive poses and wearing questionable designs on clothing. Is this merely a question of aesthetics, or does the problem go deeper? Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan looks into the issue.
People cross a pedestrian crossing in Hong Kong on 16 May 2022. (Peter Parks/AFP)

Why is the Hong Kong government targeting Telegram?

The Hong Kong government has announced that it is considering blocking Telegram in response to doxxing content on the social media platform. The app has also been accused of playing a key role in facilitating social and democratic movements. But if Hong Kong bans Telegram, will that be the city's first step towards conforming with the mainland’s internet censorship rules?
People wearing face masks walk out of a subway station during morning rush hour in Beijing, China, 26 April 2022. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

Patriotism has become a commodity on Chinese social media

Chinese internet celebrities have landed in hot water since social media platforms began displaying the IP addresses of posts by verified accounts. Netizens are crying foul as the locations of these individuals have potentially exposed the deception and falsehoods in their content and “patriotic” personae. Is this the end for the “patriotic Big Vs”?
Protesters carrying a large Ukrainian flag and heading to a protest against Russia's war in Ukraine, walk by a mesh depicting an artistic view of Vladimir Putin's portrait, featured in an anti-war exhibition near the Russian Embassy, in Bucharest, Romania, 30 April 2022. (Octav Ganea via Reuters)

Why some Malaysian netizens are pro-Russia and support Putin

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Malaysia’s social media has been abuzz with discussions on the conflict, with different groups expressing both condemnation and support for Russia. Academics Benjamin Y.H. Low and Munira Mustaffa examine pro-Russian sentiments and unpack them for possible explanations for why such views prevail amongst Malaysians, including factors such as religious affiliation, impressions of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and an anti-Western mindset.
A worker in personal protective equipment facilitates a round of Covid-19 testing during a lockdown in Shanghai, China, on 7 April 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

A Singaporean in China: Contact tracing lays bare the lives of ordinary Chinese

Through contact tracing records of Covid-19 positive patients, people are getting a glimpse of how their fellow Chinese live their lives. While the detailed records bring up the question of privacy, they have helped to highlight the issue of inequality in big cities and the lives of those who are toiling away and struggling to make ends meet. Beijing-based Singaporean Jessie Tan shares the stories that have gripped the attention of Chinese netizens.