How Mainland Chinese engage “harmonized” news: Wenzhou high speed train crash scandal case study

China’s recent high speed train crash tragedy-coverup-gaff-scandal provides an opportunity to see how Chinese internet users interact with the news when the news is ‘harmonized’. What do you do when all non-official news reports get deleted and blacked-out keywords make explicit online discussion impossible? China Geeks breaks it down for us: All Your Facts Are Belong to Us

Chinese people seem to be exceptionally angry about this particular tragedy. Here’s one guy’s take: “part of the answer is symbolism. The high speed rail system was a prominent symbol of a safe, modern, high-tech China, that the government carefully portrayed in promotional rhetoric. This tragedy dealt a severe blow to that image. Recent subversive art using the iconography of the train system shows how former symbols of progress have been recontextualized within the public backlash.”

One thought on “How Mainland Chinese engage “harmonized” news: Wenzhou high speed train crash scandal case study”

  1. This is no surprise to anyone, except perhaps the dollar figures, and now the State news has made it official:

    an official report from CCTV confirms that the Shanghainese former deputy chief engineer for the Ministry of Railways Zhang Shuguang (张曙光) kept overseas deposits worth $2.8 billion USD. In contrast, former Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun (刘志军, he of the 18 mistresses), made off with only a piddling $155 million USD worth of red-packet money.

    5 other officials from the Ministry of Railways are also under investigation. Zhang and Liu were together tasked with the goal of creating a high-speed rail network worth $300 billion USD spanning 10,000 miles by 2015.

    Confirmed: Railways official stashed $2.8 billion USD overseas

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