The one person in China who can’t talk about soccer during the World Cup | Society News | SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

The one person in China who can’t talk about soccer during the World Cup

The World Cup is flickering across TV screens around the world, and users of Hupu, a Chinese sports forum, are having a good time debating and joking online. Except one person.

A screenshot that has been making rounds on Chinese social media apparently shows that Hupu has punished one user, let’s call him X, for making a joke with a 7-day timeout — suspending his posting rights for a crucial period of the World Cup.

The post in question was made on June 23 and reads: “Messi says he wants to be captain for three more terms.”

Messi has captained the Argentinian national team in two World Cups: 2014, and 2018. This year, his team narrowly avoided being eliminated from the final 16. Given that Messi just turned 31, this might be his last chance to win a World Cup.

b8f9e9db3628cda

X’s remarks might seem innocuous, but for anyone who’s been following news from China, the joke is very likely a reference to Xi Jinping’s repeal of presidential term limits in February.  

While it’s still unclear whether the user made the joke intentionally or unwittingly, and we cannot verify the authenticity of the screenshot, the post was apparently found offensive by Hupu censors, who decided to mute the account for a week for “violating community regulations.” Which regulations? The administrative team explained that it contains “sensitive content regarding pornography, gambling, drug abuse, politics, regions, religion or rumors.”

The Chinese internet is a notoriously unwelcoming place for sensitive news, parodies, and even the cartoon character Winnie the Pooh. It is a world of arbitrary rules that make people hyper-conscious about what to post online. In the absence of definite regulations, Chinese internet users often test the boundaries by making mistakes. This, it seems, is just another case in point.

Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.