Weibo users have discovered a way to beat China’s COVID-free strategy online

A dialect spoken in southern China is helping people discuss their anger over ongoing COVID restrictions whose social media posts have not been targeted by Chinese censorship. Country.

China has taken one of the world’s most rigorous approaches to dealing with the coronavirus, and unlike most countries, it is continuing to pursue the elimination of COVID-19 from its population. .

Earlier this year, Shanghai was forced a two-month coursewith the city reopening last June strengthen strict measures in some districts of the city in October.

But Chinese citizens are taking an unusually loud stance against officials as the pandemic continues and people’s liberties remain under control of the virus.

As China’s draconian measures fluctuated, residents were seen protest, attack medical staff execute shutdown and screaming from the apartment window in which they were trapped.

Although some evidence of the response was shared on China’s social media platforms, government censors worked to quickly remove criticism of the strategy. have the controversial COVID out of circulation.

However, the inhabitants of Guangzhou—a manufacturing city near Hong Kong with a population more than 10 million—noticing that their use of regional dialects on WeiboChina’s answer Twitterhelped them vent their frustrations.

Guangzhou has restrictions have been tightened in recent days because of the increasing cases of COVID, causing the city residents to worry and complain.

The locals speak Cantonese, which is clearly different from Mandarin, the official language of China. Mandarin speakers—and censors—may have difficulty understanding Cantonese slang, profanity, and puns, and the discrepancy appears to have helped some of the complaints about Cantonese. COVID restrictions avoid China’s content controls.

“We had to close in April, and then again in November,” a Weibo user from the city said in a post on the platform on Monday. “The government doesn’t subsidize – do you think my rent doesn’t cost money?”

This individual continued to use slurs and insult the officials.

“Watching Cantonese people curse [government] on Weibo undetected,” wrote another, alongside symbols for laughter. “Learn Cantonese well and surf Weibo without fear.”

Media watchdog China Digital Times, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, said in September that because Weibo’s censorship system can have difficulty recognizing Cantonese spellings, many articles Posts with “cynical, bold and outspoken language” were able to “survive”. .”

“But if the same content is written in Mandarin, it is likely to be blocked or deleted,” the organization said. “In this regard, some netizens commented that the Cantonese text is ‘contemporary encrypted text’.”

“Everywhere must protect their own language, so that it won’t be deleted when it wants to speak out,” said one Weibo user in a post highlighted by China Digital Times.

Along with causing frustration and fear among the population, China’s approach to COVID-19 has raised widespread concern about global economy and a rare criticism of the Chinese government from the WHO itself.

“When we talk about a COVID-free strategy, we don’t think it’s sustainable given the behavior of the virus now and what we anticipate in the future,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in May. his opinion is censorship report on Chinese internet platforms.

Last weekChina has reiterated its commitment to a COVID-free policy, with its top leadership calling for unwavering support for the strategy.

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