A cyber czar falls to earth


Lu Wei 鲁炜 is a propaganda official who headed up the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) from 2013 to 2016.

  • Lu became the public face of the tightening of censorship and the concept of “internet sovereignty” that has characterized Xi Jinping’s time as leader of China’s Communist Party.
  • In June last year, official media announced, without explanation, that Lu was stepping down from his post as director of CAC.
  • Lu is now under investigation for “serious violations of Party discipline,” which usually means corruption, according to a November 21 announcement (in Chinese) from the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
  • Caixin has a report on Lu, or see the CCDI (in Chinese). You can read more about Lu’s rise before his fall on China Story.
  • Lu’s fall is not an indication that internet restrictions will be relaxed. But China has lost an official who was willing to go to the heart of Silicon Valley and defend internet censorship with a smile on his face.

In other internet news, the communications service Skype has disappeared from Apple’s app store and other download sites in China. The New York Times reports (paywall) that an Apple spokesperson said that the company had been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that “a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law,” forcing them to remove the apps.

Teaching the Nanjing Atrocities

If you’re a history or China studies teacher, you might be interested in two online seminars to be held next week by the nonprofit Facing History, on teaching about the Nanjing Atrocities: November 29 at 8 – 9 a.m. EST and November 30 at 3 – 4 p.m. EST. Facing History has also published a blog post on “Three reasons to explore the Nanjing Atrocities 80 years later.”

A job posting in Washington

The Voice of America has a job opening for a China Branch Chief based in Washington, D.C. Responsibilities include managing a multimedia newsroom of about 100 journalists producing Mandarin and Cantonese content. The application deadline is midnight Eastern Time on November 29, 2017. For more information and to apply, please click here if you are a U.S. citizen, and here if you are a foreign national.