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LinkAsia | Mar 4
A side effect of rapid industrialization and few regulations, China's rivers are often treated as little more than sewers. But as LinkAsia contribu...
For weeks, Chinese microblogs have been rife with rumors that an important announcement would be made about Bo Xilai, and then it happened. On Tuesday at 11pm, the official news agency, Xinhua, published a report about the murder investigation. As my colleague Annie Fu explains, the rumor mill forced the government to release the news, but then the government tried to contain it.
Sina-owned microblog Top News quickly picked up the story, and within a short time, the post was retweeted nearly 100,000 times. But the number of comments? Only two.
Attempts to comment automatically brought up this message, a box saying:
"The system is busy, please try again later."
A Sina weibo user wrote:
"It's a shame we can't comment."
But despite heavy censorship, some tweets still managed to leak out. This user commented on the many posts on the charges against Bo and his family:
"Damn, the rumors are true. That's just too scary."
Another user, referring to those firm supporters of Bo online, wrote:
"Thanks weibo, thanks 'rumor'. If there weren't some rumors going around to sort of prepare the public, a lot of people would have a nervous breakdown reading the news today that Bo-Gu Kailai is suspected of murder."
But well-known microblogger Charles Xue expressed his discontentment with weibo and with rumors:
"I'm not grateful at all. If there was transparency and oversight by the people or the media, those dirt bags would have been exposed before they were even born."
Xinhua continued to publish a tweet the next day, quoting a Chongqing Normal University professor who wrote:
"The central government didn't skirt the incident and published information in a timely, transparent and open manner."
Liu's post brought this sarcastic response:
"We're not three-year-olds."
Another user wrote:
"Can you just stop the adulation? Abiding by the law should be the basic principle for government officials."
This is Annie Fu, for LinkAsia.