Fettered by the Chinese Communist regime's censorship, China's netizens have found innovative ways to get around the Internet blockade and discuss topics that are prohibited by the regime, such as Google's withdrawal from the Chinese search engine market. And on March 27, a popular newspaper reprinted one of the puns about Google making its rounds on the Internet, causing a huge uproar.
Google's recent exit has been subject of much discussion. But Beijing's mandarins have required the state-run media in China report on the Google issue using only state-sanctioned language. Technically, this would mean that online expression of opinions related to the Google issue have also been blocked or curtailed.
But China's netizens, as always, have responded in a variety of innovative ways to the problem.
Google is pronounced "Gu Ge" in Chinese. But Gu Ge is also a homonym for "ancient dove."
One of the puns making its way around the Internet was republished in the Chongqing Evening News on March 27. The move, apart from defying the regime's orders on how to report on the Google issue, also makes fun at the regime.
Segments of the republished pun were translated on China Digital Times :
"According to an American Indian legend, this bird has a very important habit, called “don’t be evil.” … According to the statistics of Nasdaq animal research institute, there are about 120 billion Gu Ge [ancient doves] in the world. But it is currently almost extinct in mainland China. The original Chinese Gu Ge (ancient doves) have migrated to the south, Hong Kong, in large numbers. … Many animal lovers went to the Gu Ge park in Niaoguan village in Beijing to mourn its leaving.”
Many Chinese had gone to Google's office headquarters in Beijing in mid-January to lay flower wreaths at the entrance after the search engine giant first announced its possible withdrawal from China on Jan. 12.