CHINA TRANSLATED: ‘The Party’s Facebook’

March 23, 2016 Updated: March 23, 2016

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Joke of the Week

An efficient way of sniffing out corrupt officials

Right before the National People’s Congress in Beijing came to a close, Wang Qishan (the chief Party investigator) unexpectedly made an announcement to all the delegates: “The following individuals, whose names will be called, must stay after the meeting. These persons are…” Wang held the pause for about twenty seconds. A deathly silence enveloped the hall, and the odor of urine began to emanate. Wang finally announced: “Tea servant Xiao Peng and sound engineer Xiao Li!” When the two workers came over, he whispered: “Go inspect all seats immediately! Arrest anyone whose seat is wet!” —Aboluo

Explanation: Since the beginning of the anti-corruption campaign in China, Wang Qishan and the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection he leads have become a nightmare for corrupt Party officials, worried that they could be arrested at any moment. Reports of official suicides have leapt up since the campaign began.

Getting rid of inventory

@光远看经济: “I found an online store selling Nike sports shoes at 888 yuan ($136) a pair. The advertisement says: ‘If you receive one pair of counterfeit shoes off us, we’ll compensate you with three new pairs.’ Relieved by the guarantee, I ordered a pair from the store. To my surprise, I opened the box the next day to find it full of four fake pairs.” —Weibo

Best of Social Media

On the vaccine scandal

@ZhouFengSuo: “People are now enraged by the use of expired vaccines in China. However, very few still remember that lawyer Tang Jingling devoted himself to assisting victims of toxic vaccines as early as a decade ago. In the end, parents of victimized children were detained and Tang was sentenced to imprisonment for his nonviolent legal work. Despite this, the case never drew the public attention that it deserved, and the whole evil system continues to create new victims.” —Qiwenlu

@batX42: “The vaccine scandal has finally pushed some in my friendship circle to criticize the regime and call for officials to be held accountable. These friends used to care only about delicious food, going on tours, and overseas shopping. This again proves the statement that ‘you only love this government because you haven’t yet been harmed by it.'” —Twitter

A child receives a measles vaccine from a doctor at Bozhou, Anhui province. (China Daily)

Anonymous: “If one lives in a society where the government never abides by the law, coming down with an illness might cost all your savings, and any ‘politically incorrect’ speech might lead to enforced disappearances, all one can do is save, save, and save. This is why China has never had real domestic demand.” —Letscorp  

The Party’s Facebook


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s high-profile visit to China became an extremely popular item of discussion in China recently. Zuckerberg posted a photo of himself jogging with five others in Tiananmen Square on a highly polluted day. The response from many Chinese was derisive: “Zuckerberg is the most expensive air purifier in history,” one comment said.

Another comment, that requires some unraveling, said roughly: “As Facebook CEO, Zuckerberg has embraced his fate.” The precise term used was a play on words of a Chinese transliteration of the word “Facebook,” using the characters that mean “doomed,” or “cannot but die,” but which when read aloud sound like Facebook (非死不可, pronounced roughly “Fay si bu ke.”)

Zuckerberg’s meeting with the communist regime’s propaganda chief, Liu Yunshan, received even more criticism. He seemed to show “undisguised eagerness for China’s market” when smiling and shaking hands with Liu, the man in charge of making sure Facebook stays blocked in China.

An Internet user provided a “translation” of the conversation between Zuckerberg and Liu:

Liu Yunshan: “Mr. Zuckerburg, you know that China has Internet censorship, right?”

Mark Zuckerburg: “Of course, Mr. Liu. I’ve come here to let you know that Facebook is willing to engage in censorship in exchange for China’s market.”

Liu Yunshan: “Good. Here is a list of blocked terms. We can move to the next step when Facebook completes developing a new version that blocks them.”