An endangered Chinese species has flooded a post by the US Embassy in Beijing calling for the protection of giraffes on social media site Weibo. But their comments have nothing to do with wildlife conservation or those leggy mammals.
Last week, investors in China vented “their frustrations” after the fallout from the property meltdown wiped out more than US$6 trillion from the market value of Chinese and Hong Kong shares in the past three years.
“Could you spare us some missiles to bomb away the Shanghai Stock Exchange?” one Weibo user wrote in a repost of the US Embassy’s comments on the fate of imperiled giraffes as reported by the Reuters news agency.
Creatures of censorship:
- President Xi Jinping’s regime has launched a massive campaign to block negative views about the state of China’s disintegrating economy.
- That is why Weibo netizens hijacked the US Embassy post, swamping the X or Twitter-like app with 130,000 comments and 15,000 reposts.
- It comes as a broader malaise has engulfed the world’s second-largest economy, revolving around the three “Ds” of deflation, debt and despair.
- For many in China, “it feels like a recession” or a “crisis of confidence.”
Delve deeper: On Friday, state-run People’s Daily beamed “the entire country is filled with optimism” in another round of Communist Party propaganda.
Between the lines: In response, a Weibo user reposted on the US Embassy thread: “The entire giraffe community is filled with optimism.”
Big picture: “Beijing has censored and tried to intimidate economists, analysts, investment banks and social media influencers for bearish assessments of the economy and [official] policies,” the New York Times reported last week.
Wait for it: “In addition, news articles about people experiencing financial struggles or the poor living standards for migrant workers are being removed [on social media],” it said.
China Factor comment: The gagged and dispossessed will always find a way to speak out.