With more than 850 million internet users in China, the Chinese Communist Party has become increasingly aggressive in internet censoring and blocking. Recently, The Epoch Times received an internal document of the CCP’s that showed municipalities in Henan Province used human resources and materials to create hot topics or so-called “authoritative messages” to suppress negative public opinion.
In September 2016, 113 people in Shangcai County, Zhumadian City of Henan Province were wanted for impersonating soldiers in a nationwide wire fraud scheme. The media even exposed the fact that fraud had become a “business” in this very poor county and that each family in these local villages had tens of thousands of RMB in cash. This had drawn great concern on the internet after the news was exposed. However, the hot topic of “the Cultural Festival of Shangcai County” suddenly appeared and was highly discussed. Slowly, people were distracted from the scandal. This seemingly unrelated “cultural festival” was recently proven to have been orchestrated by the local government to control public opinion.