Chinese media regulators clamp down on tech-media companies for allowing undesirable (vulgar, satirical) content. Toutiao boss Zhang Yiming responds with what would until recently have seemed a shockingly excessive pre-emptive kowtow and self-criticism.
His statement – here in its full hideousness – apologizes for ‘a weak [understanding of] the four consciousnesses’ and failure to respect ‘socialist core values’, and promises to introduce ‘correct values’. (See CMP link for exciting details of the Four Consciousnesses®.) Zhang concludes by saying: ‘We earnestly await help from various parts of society in supervising our rectification’.
Wouldn’t you? This is a time when Mainland tycoons are being rectified through official shakedowns and even abduction, and enemies of the state are routinely forced to make televised confessions.
In Hong Kong, when they’re not ranting about a lawmaker outraging the national flag, the local Red Guards are calling for academic Benny Tai’s blood. The South China Morning Post gives top spot on its letters page today to pro-Beijing legislator Holden Chow insisting that Tai is abusing freedom of speech and will engender hatred and violence, so HK University must fire him. (To add to the ambience, the SCMP online inserts a photo of a sinister hooded marauding arsonist-rioter – roughly Benny’s height – emerging from the darkness to crush babies to death with bricks.)
The United Front-contrived mob-ambush of Benny ‘threat to the nation’ Tai, with Chief Executive Carrie Lam obediently joining in, may look bizarre or even ridiculous. But to the Communist Party officials behind the scenes, it is intended to serve as a warning to everyone else. The best we can do while we’re waiting for TVB and RTHK to install cages and shackles in their studios.
Scholars and historians rush to explain that we are not seeing a re-run of the Cultural Revolution in all this, on account of Xi-not-being-Mao and so on. They sound perfectly reasonable. So you can read this hilarious SCMP op-ed piece for the laughs.
The op-ed piece was indeed hilarious – not least for its ignorance. “Big empires such as the Roman empire could not stay intact for long” Really? Rome was a republic from 750-55 B.C., and became an empire that fell, in Constantinople, in 1453 A.D. I make that 23 centuries…
Zhang is a spitting image of the face that used to adorn the cover of Mad magazine.
All in all it’s still safer out here than anywhere in Europe the USA or the Middle East.
Your own neo-con paragon Mr Trump can get us
into the Apocalypse.
You wished for a Trump all these blogger years and now the Rapture is at last upon you.
Reading the SCMP Op-ed link, it seems we are well on the road to this hell, again:
Never Fear, Foreign Investors, At Least Xi’s Not As Bad As Mao.
No need to panic until the death count reaches the 45 million mark. In the meantime, give us your money!
Reading Zhang Yiming’s confession, it seems we are well on the way to this hell, again:
Meant to send the second one, OBV
The face of MAD magazine is Alfred Neumann.
MAD, btw, stands for Madison Avenue, home of the advertising industry.
“Thus, in history, ethnic minorities tended to assimilate into Chinese culture” – whether they liked it or not!
Yes, veneration of ancestors and family bonds and “values” are only available in Cuntfucius lip service countries.
Evidence of that all the time when some shriveled up 95 yr-old HK tycoon finally dies and the family unity and veneration is exposed when everyone is climbing over each other to re-interpret the last will and testament and keep the money away from that latest 20 year old floozy he married a year ago!
I have read Zhang Yiming’s apology.
If it were in a novel, one would read it with an eye open for irony and concealed meaning.
So, for example, when he says, “I have been filled with remorse and guilt, entirely unable to sleep. . . . I and my colleagues will work immediately to [change] our own thoughts . . .” – he is over-stating, to let us know that he is being coerced.
When he says, “My background is engineering, and my originating idea . . . was to create a product that would facilitate interaction and exchange among users worldwide.” – he is slipping in a statement of his own true beliefs.
When he says, “I thank the historic opportunity of economic reform and opening; and I thank the support the government has given for the development of the technology industry.” – he is criticising the government, which first encouraged him, and is now blocking him.
But I suppose such readings are out of place.
Chris Maden: Absolutely bang on. Tendentious clap-trap larded with ignorance: the stock in trade of the ethno-commie propagandist.
Property developer and Joe Blow: Alfred E. Neuman, to be precise.
Cassowary: Quite so.
Inquisitor General: Yes! Scary stuff, and coming to Hongkers soon, but hopefully not until the fragrant Carrie has settled into Acacia Cottage, Esher, exchanged her cheong sams for sensible tweeds, and joined the W.I.
Old Newcomer: Yes, indeed. I believe that as we speak, the Tibetans are experiencing this very “tendency to assimilate”. Lucky old Tibetans, eh?
Chinese Netizen: Your characterisation of Chinese family values and filial piety (especially where the rich are concerned), while offensive in the extreme, is about as close to the truth as it’s possible to get.
Knownot: You might have a point, but by the look of him l don’t think the bloke in question is smart enough for such subtlety. I think it’s far more likely that he’s simply shitting himself.
I hope a social scientist in some ivory tower in Sai Ying Pun, Kowloon or Shatin is even now correlating SCMP ‘content’ with the associated comments. Ever since the intelligent left the forum (for HKFP, here and – please advise), the regular coordination of the ‘wumao’ reaction has been obvious, but I’ve never quite worked out what governs where they are set yapping, and when – like the current op-ed – they remain utterly silent.
Holden Chow as with every piece he as published displays his ignorance and shallow comprehension of , well just about any issue. He mentions Northern Ireland, a British colony for 800+ years. While nobody would condone the actions of the IRA, the NI situation is complex and in the balance far more Irish folk met an untimely end over the centuries than the colonizers he supports by implication.
@Knownot: Zhang’s biggest offense was not somehow working “Belt ‘N Road” into the grovelfest.