Internet Users Warned Not to Criticize Chinese Economy

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
December 20, 2023China in Focus

As China’s economy grapples with rapid decline, Chinese internet users are facing tighter controls on speech.

The Chinese communist party’s national security agency announced it would combat negative online comments about the Chinese economy on Dec. 12.

Following that directive, China’s version of X, called Weibo, started warning users not to criticize the economy in their posts. It noted that violators could face serious consequences.

A former Chinese lawyer responded to the warning. He said the new censorship won’t help the Chinese economy and will instead hurt Chinese citizens’ sentiment towards it. Worsening the overall situation.

Near-Empty Airports and Fewer Foreigners: China

The Chinese economy has struggled in the post-pandemic era.

Beijing lifted its strict COVID-19 policies and eased lockdown measures at the end of 2022, but the country still hasn’t seen the strong recovery it expected after almost a year.

Looking at China’s biggest city and the country’s financial hub, Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport is the first stop for many foreigners visiting China. But reports say the transit hub is almost empty with many of its stores closed.

A similar scene is also playing out in another major airport.

A Taiwanese doctor posted photos of the near-empty Hongqiao airport on Facebook: “Many wealthy Chinese are migrating overseas, and in some places, most foreigners moved out of China.”

It follows a major trend as China sees fewer foreign travelers and less investment.

Official data shows that foreign visitors entering Chinese customs in the first half of this year saw a 96 percent drop compared to the same period in 2019, right before the pandemic broke out.

UK National Grid Removes Parts From China-Backed Company

A new move from the UK is rejecting Chinese influence.

A report by the Financial Times says the electricity provider’s national grid is ousting parts from a China-backed company. The removal follows concerns about national security and an earlier weigh-in from a department under the UK’s intelligence agency.

At the same time , Apple and Samsung are facing a possible blockade from Chinese authorities. The push may seek to replace them with Chinese brands like Huawei.

On Dec. 15, a Bloomberg report said Chinese state agencies are blocking their staff members from using iPhones and other foreign devices for business uses.

The order reportedly began in September and is said to have expanded to eight provinces.


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