from the great-firewall-wins-again dept.
Facebook was blocked in mainland China in 2009 following conflict between Uighurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang. Now Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on a "charm offensive" likely intended to convince the government to bring the site back through the firewall... in a heavily censored form. Meanwhile, Chinese social media users have been amused and confused by Zuckerberg's journey, which has been featured in state media rather than censored:
Chinese social media users have taken to popular microblog Sina Weibo to mock media coverage of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's visit, since Facebook is blocked in China. Whilst outlets praised Mr Zuckerberg's "sincere" acts of diplomacy, web users mocked the activities he has taken part in during his China visit, which included jogging through "hazy" Beijing's Tiananmen Square, visiting the Great Wall and meeting China's propaganda chief Liu Yunshan as well as fellow media guru Jack Ma.
[...] The Breaking News account on Sina Weibo, which has over 49 million followers, asked users the question: "Will Facebook this time successfully enter the Chinese market?" Despite Facebook being blocked, the post appears to have survived censorship cuts perhaps because Alibaba, headed by internet entrepreneur Jack Ma, owns a 31.4% stake in the popular microblog. Jack Ma is one of the people Mr Zuckerberg met during his visit. Outlets also virally shared pictures showing the Facebook founder riding a toboggan down the Great Wall, which were originally posted on his Facebook account. Despite traditionally censoring posts from the US social network, the overseas edition of People's Daily shared posts on his visit. These included one by "Michael Wyh", alluding to China's firewall. "I thought there were two great walls in China: one for Mark Zuckerberg, and one for Chinese residents," it reads, receiving over 100 likes.
Amid heavy media coverage of the Zuckerberg visit, many users expressed bemusement, since they have absolutely no idea who he is. "Who is this? What is Facebook, what website?" asks PlanAsphy. Chen Jinlei JC appears to offer an explanation, saying "Overseas Facebook users are all 'older people'." Others simply commented on his physique, especially during his Tiananmen Square jog. Bad-Jim said "His body is alright". "The CEO's beauty cannot be blocked," adds LiYouYou_Asik.
Officials in Xinjiang will deny benefits to children with certain Islamic or Islam-related names:
Many couples fret over choosing the perfect name for their newborn, but for Muslims in western China that decision has now become even more fraught: pick the wrong name and your child will be denied education and government benefits.
Officials in the western region of Xinjiang, home to roughly half of China's 23 million Muslims, have released a list of banned baby names amid an ongoing crackdown on religion, according to a report by US-funded Radio Free Asia.
Names such as Islam, Quran, Saddam and Mecca, as well as references to the star and crescent moon symbol, are all unacceptable to the ruling Communist party and children with those names will be denied household registration, a crucial document that grants access to social services, healthcare and education.
Muhammad, Jihad, Medina, Mujahid, Arafat, Imam, Hajj, and Yultuzay are also banned.
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