Tag Archives: Weibo

Are Elderly Tourists Banned From Group Tours In China?!

Are elderly tourists now banned from joining group tours to China?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Elderly Tourists Banned From Group Tours In China!

This warning has gone viral on WhatsApp, and social media platforms, claiming that elderly tourists are now banned from group tours in China!

New Regulations of the National Tourism Administration

Dear group members, while you are still allowed to travel, take advantage of the opportunity and travel around China! Group tours are no longer allowed after the age of 80.😀😀😀😀😀

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Truth : Elderly Tourists Are Not Banned From Group Tours In China!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp, and social media platforms, and here are there reasons why…

Fact #1 : Viral Message Circulated Since 2019

First, let me just point out that the viral message isn’t new. It has been circulating since March 2019, if not earlier.

Initially, it started in Chinese social media platforms like Weibo and WeChat groups, but eventually made its way to WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

Fact #2 : National Tourism Administration Ceased In 2018

According to a Chinese fact check, the viral message could not have been issued by the National Tourism Administration of China, as it no longer existed in 2019.

As part of institutional reforms announced by the Chinese State Council in March 2018, it was replaced by the Culture and Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Tourism.

Fact #3 : Ministry of Culture and Tourism Has No Such Restrictions

A reporter for Jiefang Daily and Shangguan News checked the official website of the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism, but could find no announcement of any restrictions on elderly tourists travelling in group tours.

The reporter also noted that there were no specific restrictions on the “travel age for the elderly” even in previous policy documents.

Recommended : Did BMW Mini Give Ice-Cream Only To Foreigners In China?!

Fact #4 : Shanghai Tourism Hotline Confirms No Such Restriction

The reporter also called the Shanghai tourism hotline to ask about whether there were new restrictions on elderly tourists planning to join tour groups in China.

The Shanghai tourism staff told the reporter that there is currently no national guidelines that prohibit group tours for those over 80 years old.

They suggested that the requirement that elderly people need to be accompanied by family members and/or have medical certificates may be the “voluntary requirements” of some travel agencies.

In such cases, the staff recommended that elderly tourists should consider some travel agencies in Shanghai that specialise in serving the elderly as they may be more suitable, and may not have such requirements.

Fact #5 : Travel Service Standards For Elderly Do Not Have Age Restrictions

In 2016, China issued its Travel Agency Elderly Tourism Service Standards, which stipulates that if elderly tourists participate in group tours, the travel agency should:

  • communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on the upper age limit for travel accident insurance,
  • collect detailed information of the elderly tourists,
  • ask elderly tourists who are over 75 years old to be accompanies by adult family members, or ask their immediate family members to sign off on their travel,
  • discuss the potential risks of senior tourism products and the health requirements of senior tourists before traveling, and
  • provide oral safety reminders and produce a “Safety Notice” to ensure that elderly tourists choose appropriate senior tourism products.

However, the 2016 Travel Agency Elderly Tourism Service Standards do not restrict elderly tourists of any age from travelling in group tours.

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Fact #6 : Travel Agencies Refute Claims On Age Limits

The same reporter also reached out to Chinese travel agencies like Ctrip and CYTS on these claims of group tour restrictions on elderly tourists.

The Chinese travel agencies said that there is “no hard and fast age requirement” for seniors travelling in group tours.

They pointed out that different tours have different physical requirements, some of which may require elderly tourists to be accompanied by family members, or produce medical certificates and other documents to assure the travel agencies of their fitness.

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Uncle Roger Cancelled In China After Xi Jinping Joke!

Malaysian comedian Uncle Roger just got cancelled from Chinese social media platforms after making jokes about Xi Jinping and China!

 

Uncle Roger Cancelled In China After Xi Jinping Joke!

Uncle Roger just got cancelled from Chinese social media platforms after making jokes about Xi Jinping and China!

The Malaysian comedian, whose real name is Nigel Ng, said that his accounts on Bilibili and Weibo where he has 400,000 followers, were suspended due to a “violation of relevant laws and regulations“!

This crackdown by Chinese authorities came after he posted a video clip on Twitter and YouTube called “Uncle Roger about to get cancelled“.

In that video clip, which appears to be from an undated standup show, Uncle Roger cracked some jokes about China and Taiwan.

Uncle Roger : Are you from Boston?

Audience : Originally from Guangzhou.

Uncle Roger : Guangzhou, China. China, okay, China. Good country. Good country. Good country. Good country. Phew! We have to say that now, correct? All the phone listening. All the phone listening. This nephew got HUAWEI phone. They all listening.

Uncle Roger (tapping his phone) : All our phone tap into it. Long live President Xi. Long live President Xi. Phew! Uncle Roger social credit score going up. Nice.

Uncle Roger : Any niece and nephew from Taiwan?

[Audience woos]

Uncle Roger : Not a real… not a real country. I hope one day you rejoin the motherland. One China.

[Audience laughs]

Uncle Roger : No, don’t clap too hard. This not political show. No, don’t clap. Uncle Roger gonna get cancelled after tonight.

Uncle Roger (looking at audience member) : Nice. Go write good report for Uncle Roger, okay? Dear CCP, Uncle Roger good comrade. Good comrade. Don’t make him disappear, please.

Even though both Twitter and YouTube are not accessible in China, Chinese authorities apparently felt aggrieved enough to order the cancellation of Uncle Roger’s social media accounts in China.

Recommended : Li Haoshi Arrested + Fined $2.1 Million For CCP Joke!

Uncle Roger Proves Chinese Cancel Culture + Rides Controversy!

Despite being cancelled on Chinese social media, and losing access to thousands of his fans, this appears to be a deliberate and incredibly smart move by Nigel Ng.

Chinese comedian Li Haoshi (who goes by the stage name, House), was just arrested and fined $2.1 million for making a joke about a Xi Jinping slogan. So Nigel Ng is well aware of the danger of criticising Xi Jinping and/or the CCP government.

Yet, he deliberately dropped the video clip on Twitter and YouTube right after the Li Haoshi controversy exploded, with the title “Uncle Roger about to get cancelled“. And the CCP government in China took his bait, and promptly cancelled him.

In one swoop, Nigel made his Uncle Roger character famous worldwide. His cancellation is now international news, exposing millions of people to his jokes and character. His 400,000 Weibo fans are now a drop in the bucket. His two video clips have now been viewed MILLIONS of times!

And thanks to his newfound fame and reach, Nigel Ng should see a huge boost in pre-order of the full video which is set to be released on June 4, 2023.

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By taking Nigel’s bait, the CCP government just showed the world how it does not operate according to the rule of law. Rather, the CCP government under President Xi Jinping operates autocratically using the rule by law. Anyone who offends Xi Jinping or the CCP government in any way, will get the law thrown at them, whether it is right or not.

The controversy also highlighted the difference between CCP-controlled mainland China, and democratic Taiwan. Even though Uncle Roger in the clip called Taiwan “not a real country”, he was not cancelled in Taiwan because Taiwan not only allows free speech, it protects that right in its constitution.

Nigel Ng certainly isn’t losing any sleep over getting cancelled by the CCP government in China, because he now lives in the United Kingdom where free speech is also protected. In fact, he just doubled down by reposting the video on Twitter, with the message “for some reason this clip got a ton of views this past weekend. I wonder why” together with a pre-order link for his full video.

I should point out that this is not Nigel Ng’s first rodeo with Chinese nationalists.. In January 2021, he was severely criticised on Weibo for collaborating with Chinese-American YouTuber Mike Chen, who is well-known for his critical views of the CCP government.

Even though both did not mention politics during their vote, the social media backlash forced Nigel to apologise for the collaboration, even acknowledging that the video created a “bad social impact”. At that time, he removed all videos involving Mike Chen – which drew criticism that he was too weak.

However, it appears that Nigel Ng may have grown some cojones since then. Good for him!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Comedian in China arrested + fined US$2.1 Million!

A comedian in China was just arrested and fined US$2.1 million for using a CCP slogan created by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his joke!

 

China Arrests + Fines Comedian US$2.1 Million For CCP Joke!

In the communist utopia of China, comedian Li Haoshi (who goes by the stage name, House) was just arrested by police after being fined a whopping 14.67 million yuan, which works out to about US$2.1 million!

What dastardly crime did Li Haoshi / House commit to deserve such a massive fine, and arrest? Well, the Chinese comedian simply made a joke using a CCP slogan created by Chinese President Xi Jinping!

The fine was issued by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism, which concluded that his show was “a plot amounting to a serious insult to the People’s Liberation Army, and creates a bad social influence“.

We will never allow any company or individual to wantonly slander the glorious image of the People’s Liberation Army on a stage in the [Chinese] capital, never allow the people’s deep feelings for the soldiers to be hurt, and never allow serious subjects to be turned into entertainment.

What a glorious statement indeed by the most noble bureau of culture in China!

The Bureau confiscated RMB 1.32 million in “illegal proceeds” from the entertainment company representing House, and fined it RMB 13.35 million. The company was also banned from performing in Beijing indefinitely.

But that was not the end. On Wednesday, May 17, the Chaoyang branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau stated that an investigation was opened against Li Haoshi / House for making “derogatory remarks against the People’s Liberation Army”.

On the morning of Thursday, May 18, the comedian was arrested by the police. There has been no word on his whereabouts since then.

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The US$2.1 Million CCP Joke That Made China Mad!

So what exactly was the world’s most expensive joke all about?

During his show in Beijing on Saturday, Li Haoshi / House spoke about how he adopted two stray dogs since moving to Shanghai. He joked that when they chased after a squirrel one day, he was reminded of these eight words:

作风优良,能打胜仗
Good style of work, capable of winning battles

That was a flipped version of the slogan that was coined by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, when he set out a list of qualities he wanted from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)

建设一支听党指挥能打胜仗作风优良的人民军队
Build a people’s army that obeys the party’s command and can win battles with a good style of work

In the audio shared to Weibo, his audience can be heard laughing at the joke. Unfortunately, it went viral and caught the attention of Chinese nationalists and then the CCP government.

His joke was deemed to be insulting because “dogs” and “stray dogs” are used as insults in China. It is also common for Chinese netizens to also use insults like “American lapdogs”, for example.

In other words, his joke was perceived to be insulting both President Xi Jinping (who coined the slogan), and the PLA by referring to its soldiers as “stray dogs” that can win battles with a good style of work.

At military parades, especially when Xi Jinping is watching, PLA soldiers will often shout the slogan:

听党指挥,能打胜仗,作风优良!
Follow the Party’s command, capable of winning battles, with excellent conduct!

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Now, such jokes may be par for the course in many free, democratic societies, but Li Haoshi / House appeared to have forgotten that China under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is neither free nor democratic.

If he made the same joke using a slogan by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, he would have gotten only laughs, because Taiwan is free and democratic. Unfortunately, he made a joke about the CCP and the PLA. Even worse, he made a joke about something Xi Jinping said, and that was the ultimate sin that anyone in mainland China can commit.

Li Haoshi / House and his company were not the only casualties of this expensive joke. Three other comedy companies suspended all of their performances as a result of this controversy :

  • Danli Ren Comedy (单立人喜剧),
  • Owl Comedy (猫头鹰喜剧), and
  • Xiaosheng Comedy Club (笑生喜剧脱口秀俱乐部)

Even more startling – a 34 year-old woman surnamed Shi was detained by police in Dalian city, after she posted a comment online, asking “Why should House be banned? Aren’t all soldier brothers also dog brothers?

This goes to show just how closely the CCP government monitors speech in China, and how swiftly and mercilessly it strikes at people who even deigns to mock its authority.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did BMW MINI Give Ice-Cream Only To Foreigners In China?!

Chinese netizens are calling for a boycott of BMW MINI, after claiming that it only gave free ice-cream to foreigners!

 

Chinese Netizens : BMW MINI Only Gives Ice-Cream To Foreigners!

On Thursday, 20 April 2023, Chinese netizens exploded over a viral video recorded a day earlier at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition.

It showed BMW MINI employees giving free ice-cream to a foreigner, but refusing to give it to the Chinese man recording the video, and his girlfriend.

That led to claims that BMW MINI was discriminating against China, with many saying that it was insulting to China and its citizens. The story has since been spread across the Chinese diaspora and promoted in pro-CCP groups by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

In old days, there was sign “No dog and Chinese in the park”…. nowaday “No ice cream for Chinese”. Time passed, change a little only….

#BMW #Shanghai #MINI
Shanghai Station BMW MINI has racial discrimination, only giving ice cream to white men, not to Asian women, and arranging security guards to beat female anchors, resulting in gender discrimination🤮🤮

1,6 billion losses for #BMW 🤣for ice cream. it’s little bit expensive.don’t play with Chinese people next time👺

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BMW MINI Ice-Cream Fiasco Show True Character Of Chinese Netizens

Chinese netizens are crowing about the losses that BMW MINI sustained from this free ice-cream fiasco, saying that China will not bow to foreigners, and that it shows the “power” of the Chinese cancel culture.

The truth is – the whole BMW MINI ice-cream fiasco is much ado about nothing. Even worse – it exposed the true character of these Chinese netizens, showing the world just how petty and superficial they really are.

First, let me start by pointing out some salient facts about the BMW Mini ice-cream fiasco…

It Was A Car Exhibition In Shanghai

The incident happened at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, where MINI China had a booth.

Generally, people go there to view the latest car models, or prototypes. But it looks like some Chinese netizens go to these exhibitions for the freebies…

More importantly – most of the visitors there were Chinese citizens, not foreigners. Keep this in mind.

BMW MINI Gave Out 300 Ice-Cream Tubs Per Day

MINI China was giving out 300 tubs of ice-cream at its booth, over two days. So that’s a total of 600 tubs of ice-cream.

While some Chinese netizens have said that BMW MINI should not have given so few, or should have anticipated a higher demand, they should ask themselves if they are at the Mini booth to view its cars, or to demand freebies?

Even if BMW MINI brought in 1,000 tubs a day, they would likely run out as well, and these demanding guests would still have complained.

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Most Ice-Cream Tubs Went To Chinese Guests

The vast majority of these free ice-cream tubs went to Chinese guests who visited the MINI booth, because it was a car show in Shanghai, where the vast majority of people are Chinese citizens!

Only a few tubs were reserved for BMW / MINI staff members at the car show, who happen to be foreigners. How many foreigners do you reckon will fly to Shanghai to check out the MINIs there?

A total of 600 ice creams were distributed to those who came to our booth through the MINI App. In fact, in addition to the 300 copies distributed each day, we also reserved a very small portion for our very hard-working colleagues on site, the 4-5 “foreigners” you see in the video are colleagues wearing staff badges.

It Was Chinese Ice-Cream

In fact, MINI China reserved those ice-cream tubs specifically for the foreign BMW / MINI executives to try, because the ice-cream was made by Shanghai ice-cream maker, Luneurs!

While many Chinese citizens can easily buy and enjoy ice-cream from Luneurs, this was likely the only opportunity for these foreigners to try ice-cream made by a famous Shanghai brand.

Instead of expressing pride that these foreigners were enjoying a local product, these Chinese netizens instead turned the whole incident into unnecessary drama… over free ice-cream.

Instead of capitalising on MINI China’s support of a local brand, Luneurs was forced to issue a public statement on Weibo that it had nothing to do with the BMW MINI free ice-cream drama.

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The Two Girls Were Temporary Help

Like in many car shows, the models and booth staff are often temporary help hired for the show. It was the case with the two Chinese girls in the video – they were hired to distribute the free ice-cream to guests visiting the Mini booth.

It is important for me to point this out because they are local Chinese citizens, and have no reason to be biased against their fellow Chinese citizens.

In addition, they were not BMW MINI staff members, and were merely instructed to distribute most of the free ice-cream to guests, and reserve a few for BMW/MINI staff members.

For diligently doing their jobs, they were hounded by Chinese netizens who called them names for allegedly obeying foreigners, or helping foreigners bully the Chinese people, etc.

Not only are these Chinese netizens shameless in demanding freebies, they have also shown themselves to be disgusting bullies. MINI China even came out to defend the girls against these cyberbullies.

… the two ladies in the incident are also young people who have just entered society, can you please give them more tolerance and space?

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IMHO, this BMW MINI ice-cream fiasco should serve as a lesson to all foreign brands trying to penetrate the Chinese market – don’t give them any freebies. As it is said, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

No one, but BMW MINI, thought of giving guests some ice-cream for visiting their booth. But instead of appreciating that small gesture, Chinese netizens made it all about them, them, them.

Never mind that it was a car exhibition where no one in their right mind would have expected free ice-cream, or free anything. Never mind that the vast majority of the free ice-cream went to Chinese guests. Never mind that it was two Chinese girls who distributed them.

No, these idiots believe that this is actual Western oppression of the Chinese people. They are a disgrace to China and the Chinese diaspora. The truth is – most Chinese people are not jingoistic cheapskates like these shameless Chinese netizens.

Even the infamously jingoistic former editor-in-chief of Global Times, Hu Xijin, came out to caution Chinese netizens against their excesses:

We shouldn’t excessively magnify a problem to become a question of principle or an ideological issue.

Let the staff learn their lessons and let their future events return to normal as much as possible. Let’s avoid other vendors getting nervous because of this.

Chinese citizens are free to boycott BMW MINI all they want for this “ice-cream fiasco”, but make no mistake – this fiasco does not cast BMW MINI in poor light. It actually shows just how shameless and disgusting some Chinese citizens can be.

China may have made great strides in improving the economic circumstances of its citizens, but it looks like there is much work to be done to improve the grace and thoughtfulness of some of its citizens… as well as their lack of self esteem.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Chinese Netizens Explode Over WPS Office Censorship!

Chinese netizens are incensed over evidence that WPS Office was monitoring and deleting their files!

Find out what’s going on, and what it means for the digital privacy of WPS Office users!

 

Chinese Netizens : WPS Office Is Monitoring + Blocking Our Documents!

Chinese company, Kingsoft, is under fire for claims that its productivity suite WPS Office is actively monitoring and deleting user documents that might displease Beijing!

At the heart of this issue is the WPS Cloud platform that works like Microsoft 365, allowing users to store their documents in the cloud, or locally.

Chinese netizens are alleging that WPS Office was actively monitoring their documents, and even deleting those that were detected to contain content that might displease the Chinese authorities.

One novelist who goes by the pseudonym Mitu, claimed that she was unable to access her unpublished 1.3 million character document. Not only was it blocked in her cloud storage, she couldn’t access the local copy using the desktop WPS client.

She was told that “the file may contain sensitive content and access has been disabled“.

Mitu shared her experience on Lkong – an online Chinese literature forum, and the social media platform Xiaohongshu, in late June 2022; and it only began trending in Weibo in early July after an influencer reposted her complaint.

A Weibo post on her complaint appears to have been deleted, but fortunately a screenshot was captured. This was the post in Chinese, machine translated into English :

Simply put, WPS seems to have some kind of sensitive word harmony function, Then after being detected, not only the ones stored on the cloud disk will be harmonized

According to the victim’s complaint, it is not only on the cloud, but also on local files. It’s hard to escape a harmony.

At present, according to some netizens, it may be checked after being saved.Sensitive words are detected and then determined to be files that may contain sensitive information,

Directly blocked, or it may be directly locked after being remotely detected by the background server local files There is no other way but to appeal (and it will be fixed in time) but this Is it remote from the server?

Now there is a lot of panic in the online literature circle, for fear that hundreds of thousands of words of manuscripts will be blocked overnight. Asking both online and offline harmony, many people re-use ms and writing pads write file

Mitu said she reported the problem to Kingsoft, which eventually apologised and restored access to the file within two days. The company admitted that “the file was not problematic”.

However, her story spurred other Chinese netizens to come forward with their own stories. A writer in Guangzhou who goes by the pseudonym Liu Hai also said that his WPS Office document of nearly 10,000 words was similarly blocked on July 1, 2022.

These incidents have sparked concerns about privacy in China. While the Chinese government routinely monitors and censors social media content, monitoring and blocking of personal documents would represent a new level of censorship in China.

 

WPS Office Admits Blocking File Access

After the online furore over claims that WPS Office deleted user files, the software developer issued a terse public statement on July 11, 2022.

It said that WPS Office does not delete the “user’s local files”, and that it was a misunderstanding. They only deleted the “online document link”, and blocked “others from access the link according to the law”.

Here is the Weibo post in Chinese, machine translated into English :

Statement on the exposure of online transmission #WPS will delete the user’s local files

A recent online document link shared by a user is suspected of violating the law, and we have prohibited others from accessing the link according to law. This has been misrepresented as #WPS delete user local files.

To this end, we specifically declare: WPS, as an office software developed for more than 30 years, has always put user experience and user privacy protection first.

WPS Office cleverly claims that it never “censors, locks or delete users’ local files”, which is technically correct but as Mitu and Liu Hai described, WPS Office blocks access to their users’ local files.

It was discovered that the files can still be opened by other software, like Microsoft Word or Tencent Docs. But the blocked files cannot be opened by WPS Office, even if they are stored locally (in the user’s computer).

It should be noted that Mitu never shared her file online. So WPS Office’s claim that they only blocked “others” from accessing the file is misleading.

 

WPS Office Not The Only Cloud Provider Monitoring Content

To be fair to WPS Office and Kingsoft, they are not the only ones monitoring content uploaded to the cloud. They just took things one step further by blocking access to local files.

By default, traffic to and from cloud-based productivity services like Google Docs, Microsoft 365 and WPS Office are not end-to-end encrypted.

That means they can and most likely are reading / monitoring EVERYTHING you type or upload. This includes files uploaded and stored in cloud-based storage services like Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

That is the right of cloud service providers, because you are using their servers to store your content.

Google, for example, lists content that can be automatically removed and could even lead to a ban :

  • Account hijacking
  • Account inactivity
  • Child sexual abuse and exploitation
  • Circumvention
  • Dangerous and illegal activities
  • Harassment, bullying, and threats
  • Hate speech
  • Impersonation and misrepresentation
  • Malware and similar malicious content
  • Misleading content
  • Non-consensual explicit imagery
  • Personal and confidential information
  • Phishing
  • Regulated goods and services
  • Sexually explicit material
  • Spam
  • System interference and abuse
  • Unauthorized images of minors
  • Violence and gore
  • Violent organizations and movements

People need to be aware of this, and stop assuming that they have privacy on such cloud services, even if they paid to use them.

So it is not surprising that WPS Office monitors everything its users do. If they stopped at blocking access to the online files that contravened local laws, no one would bat an eye.

What is unusual though is that it also blocked access to the users’ local files! That means that their desktop and mobile apps were specifically designed to enforce a list of blocked files issued by WPS Office / Kingsoft.

If WPS Office / Kingsoft goes to that extent, does it mean that they would also alert the Chinese authorities about users producing content that displease them?

That is something everyone should think about, not just Chinese netizens who are justifiably concerned about WPS Office.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Chinese Media Accidentally Leaks Ukraine Censorship Order!

A Chinese state media outlet accidentally leaked instructions on how their staff should frame Russian threats and military action against Ukraine.

Take a look at what their censorship instructions were regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict!

 

Chinese Media Accidentally Leaked Ukraine Censorship Order!

Horizon News, officially 世面 (Shimian, which literally translates as The World), is a media outlet that belongs to Beijing News (新京报), which is owned by the Chinese Communist Party.

On 22 February 2022, the verified Horizon News / Shimian account on Weibo accidentally leaked an internal directive on how their staff should frame the Russian threats and military action against Ukraine.

The Weibo post was deleted on the same day, but Ling Li – a Chinese researcher – managed to capture a screenshot :

 

What Did Chinese Censorship Order On Ukraine Say?

To make it easier for those who do not read Chinese to verify what Horizon News (世面) posted on their official and verified Weibo account, here is the original leaked text in Chinese.

即刻起,乌克兰相关发微博 都用世面首发,大号再发,推世面,对俄不利、亲 酉方的不发。 首发前给我看文案。 评论进行精选控制,先开精选,然后把合适的评论 放出来,要求谁发布谁负责。要真正去关注评论往 外放。每条至少盯两天。注意交接。 如果蹭话题,只用人新央的话题。

And here is my rough English translation of what the Horizon News (世面) post said :

From now on, post Ukraine-related Weibo articles on Shimian (Horizon News) first, and then on our primary account* to push out to the world.

Don’t post anything unfavourable to Russia or favourable to the West. Let me review your articles before posting.

Filter the comments, enable top comments, and then release only appropriate comments. Make sure they are responsible for what they comment.

Really pay attention to the comments out there. Keep an eye on each comment for at least two days. Ensure there is proper handover.

When writing about (trending) topics, only use topics covered by 人新央 (People’s Daily, Xinhua Agency and CCTV).

* likely referring to their main Beijing News account

Read more : Was CGTN caught faking the Peng Shui email?

 

Why Are The Chinese Censoring Opinions On Ukraine?

You may be wondering – why on earth would the Chinese spend so much time, money and effort to frame and censor their citizens’ opinions on the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

It appears that Beijing believes that backing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will reap rewards in the future, when China decides to “solve the Taiwan issue once and for all”.

Ming Jinwei – a senior editor at the Xinhua News Agency – elucidated this opinion in a WeChat post :

Simply put, China has to back Russia up with emotional and moral support while refraining from treading on the toes of the United States and European Union.

In the future, China will also need Russia’s understanding and support when wrestling with America to solve the Taiwan issue once and for all.

China is backing Russia beyond framing and censoring online opinions. Just one day before Russia recognised the two breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, China signed a deal to buy 100 million tons of Russian coal.

This deal would not only help China address its severe shortage of cheap coal, it would also help Russian mitigate sanctions enacted by the West, indirectly giving them more latitude to invade Ukraine.

 

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Did COVID-19 Leak From Gilead Sciences Lab In Fort Detrick?

Did a lab assistant expose how Gilead Sciences covered up the leak of COVID-19 from their Fort Detrick laboratory?

Take a look at the viral farewell note exposing this cover-up, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : COVID-19 Leaked From Gilead Sciences Lab In Fort Detrick!

A document with the filename “Covid -19 Truth_Confession Exposed.pdf” is being shared on WhatsApp, together with this message :

👆The farewell note by an Ex-Gilead Sciences Fort Derrick Lab assistant who confessed COVID-19 leaked from the lab in Maryland. CDC covered up the facts. Her supervisor Prof Frank Plummer and others who know the facts were all killed and she now fears for her life. Virus was transported to Wuhan by seafood. She apologized to the world.

The PDF document contains the screenshot from an August 2020 post by one “Samantha Hill“, together with a diagram.

Sorry, we played an evil part in the outbreak of COVID-19

I am anonymous, I used to be an American, but I am more of an Indian. I learnt in the University of Manitoba and did some trivial work in the Fort Detrick Laboratory after graduation. My supervisor and I know almost everything about COVID-19, and that’s why he was killed. Now I came back to India. I gather myself up and decide to tell the truth, hoping I will still be alive when all of you learn the truth.

Note : We added the FAKE overlay to prevent the diagram from being further abused.

 

No, COVID-19 Did Not Leak From Gilead Sciences Lab In Fort Detrick!

This is yet another FAKE STORY that appears to be part of a Chinese propaganda effort to shift the blame for COVID-19 to the United States.

Let me show you why this is completely made up, and is nothing more than Chinese propaganda.

Fact #1 : This Fake Story Was Posted In August 2020

This fake story was originally posted on a new Facebook account with the name “Samantha Hill” on 11 August 2020.

The writer tried to frame himself as an American of Indian descent, even using Hindi hashtags. But her post gained little traction on Facebook. It was only widely shared on Weibo by Chinese netizens.

It appears to have been resurrected after the United States under President Biden started an earnest look at whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus might have accidentally been leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fact #2 : The Writer Is Not A Scientist Or American

The writer, Samantha Hill, claimed to be an American who worked as Gilead Sciences lab assistant at their Fort Detrick Laboratory.

However, the Facebook post is rife with numerous scientific and linguistic mistakes, like :

  • virusology : the proper term is virology
  • breeding : viruses are not living organisms – they do not breed. They replicate, and we manufacture them in host cells.
  • villagers : a common term in China, but have you seen Americans call anyone a villager?
  • SARS II : this is a nonsensical name. The official name for the COVID-19 virus was nCoV-2019, before it became SARS-CoV-2 on 11 February 2020.
  • practitioners : Americans call them scientists…

These linguistics mistakes suggest that the writer is most likely a layperson of Chinese origin, not Indian and certainly not American.

Fact #3 : Screenshot Was Taken By Creator

The Facebook account was deleted, but the screenshot is now being circulated in June 2021 in the form of a PDF document.

Interestingly, this new screenshot can only come from the person who created the Samantha Hill post.

We know this because the screenshot shows the Facebook privacy selector (marked in red below), which only appears for the post creator!

Only the person who created the post would be able to take that screenshot.

Fact #4 : 赵盛烨 (Zhao Shenye) Could Be The Creator

Samantha Hill claimed to be an American of Indian ethnicity. But I will now show you why “she” is most likely a Chinese man called 赵盛烨 (Zhao Shenye).

As I noted in Fact #3, the screenshot can only be taken by the post creator, “Samantha Hill”.

If you look at the bottom right corner of the screenshot, you will find a watermark – the Weibo handle of 赵盛烨 (Zhao Shenye), who also goes by the name xodn.

And if you take a look at Zhao Shenye’s Weibo page, the latest post (on 14 February 2021) is about Gain of Function (GOF) virus modification by Professor Baric and Dr. Peter Daszak!

Looks like we hit pay dirt! Zhao Shenye could be the mysterious Samantha Hill…

Fact #5 : Fort Detrick Belongs To US Army

Fort Detrick is a massive 13,000-acre campus that belongs to the United States Army.

It is home to the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) laboratory, which China has suggested leaked the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Fort Detrick is completely owned and managed by the US Army Futures Command, and that includes the USAMRIID laboratory.

There are NO PRIVATE laboratories inside Fort Detrick. So Gilead Sciences cannot possibly operate one inside Fort Detrick.

Fact #6 : Gilead Sciences Does Not Have Labs In Maryland

Gilead Sciences Inc. does not own or operate any laboratory in the state of Maryland. Here are the current locations of their US laboratories :

  • Foster City, California : headquarters and antiviral research facilities
  • Miami, Florida : respiratory research and clinical development activities
  • Seattle, Washington : respiratory research and clinical development activities

Fact #7 : Fort Detrick Sterilisation Plant Failed But Posed No Risk

The CDC temporarily shut down the US Army lab at Fort Detrick on 2 August 2019, after finding “biosafety lapses” there.

However, that was not because viruses actually leaked from the facility, but rather :

  • the lab was no longer able to decontaminate wastewater from its highest security labs.
  • their steam sterilisation plant was damaged in a flood in May 2018, and they had been using a chemical decontamination method instead.
  • no disease-causing materials were found outside authorised areas

Fact #8 : Wuhan Was Epicentre Of COVID-19 Outbreak

China’s continuous suggestions that there may have been a leak at the Fort Detrick laboratory is illogical.

If SARS-CoV-2 leaked from Fort Detrick, the city of Frederick in Maryland would have been the epicentre of the initial COVID-19 outbreak, not Wuhan.

Now, this does not mean that the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It merely means the Chinese claim about Fort Detrick is nonsensical.

Fact #9 : Remdesivir Is Pretty Much Useless Against COVID-19

GS-5734 is the development code name for Remdesivir, and it is pretty much useless against COVID-19.

There were promising early results which led to the US granting it emergency use authorisation on 1 May 2020 for severe COVID-19.

However, by September 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued guidance NOT to use remdesivir in people with COVID-19, as “there was no good evidence of benefit”.

So the idea that Gilead Sciences created the SARS-CoV-2 virus to sell remdesivir is idiotic.

Fact #10 : Gilead Sciences Does Not Own BlackRock

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset management company, and is more than 50% larger than Gilead Sciences by market capitalisation.

BlackRock is certainly NOT a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, as Samantha Hill claimed. In fact, BlackRock owns about 8.9% of Gilead Sciences shares (as of 29 January 2021)!

Fact #11 : Dr. Frank Plummer Died Of A Heart Attack

Dr. Frank Plummer was not assassinated while flying from Kenya to China.

He died of a heart attack in Kenya on 5 February 2020, where he was attending the 40th anniversary of the HIV research collaboration between the University of Manitoba and the University of Nairobi.

Fact #12 : SARS-CoV-2 Was Detected By Chinese Doctors

The SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected by Chinese doctors, not by “Chinese epidemic prevention departments”.

It appears that Dr. Ai Fen was the first Chinese doctor who “discovered” SARS-CoV-2 when she treated two patients who presented with symptoms of COVID-19.

The test at that time came back as “SARS coronavirus”, so she reported it to the hospital’s public health department and infectious diseases department.

She took a picture of the report, circled the word “SARS” and sent it to a colleague at another hospital in Wuhan. The picture circulated until it reached Dr. Li Wenliang – the famous whistleblower doctor, who sent it forward as a warning to former classmates on WeChat.

Both Dr. Ai Fen and Dr. Li Wenliang were reprimanded for spreading rumours. So the claim that COVID-19 was caught by Chinese epidemic prevention departments is nonsense.

Fact #13 : No Evidence COVID-19 Spread Through Frozen Food

It is plausible that the SARS-CoV-2 can be contracted through fomites – contaminated items or surfaces. That would include food items, both fresh and frozen.

However, WHO points out there has been NO SPECIFIC REPORTS of anyone getting COVID-19 through fomite transmission.

The US CDC also has a specific page on fomite transmission of COVID-19, whether they concluded that as of 5 April 2021…

  • People can (potentially) be infected with SARS-CoV-2 through contact with surfaces.
  • Based on available epidemiological data, the risk surface transmission is considered to be low.
  • Cleaning surfaces using soap or detergent is enough.
  • Risk of fomite transmission can be reduced by wearing masks, good hand hygiene and cleaning.

In addition, imported frozen seafood are sold all over China. If COVID-19 was intentionally seeded through frozen seafood by the United States, it would have sparked multiple outbreaks, not just in Wuhan.

There is also the inconvenient fact that it was discovered later that the first COVID-19 case in Wuhan had NOTHING to do with the Huanan seafood market!

 

Why Would China Push Fake Gilead Sciences Claim?

With China’s aggressive foreign policy moves in recent years, it is not uncommon to see fake pro-China, anti-America stories being created and shared.

Many believe it’s part of a concerted attempt to burnish China’s image overseas, and drown out negative coverage of China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, and their aggressive moves in the South China Sea..

China has also been blamed for not handling the initial COVID-19 epidemic better, and unfairly – for being the origin of this new virus.

Hence, they have been trying their best to deflect blame by casting aspersions unto others, using aggressive Wolf Warrior diplomacy tactics, propaganda outlets like Global Times and CTGN, and their 50 Cent Army.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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