Eoin Treacy's view -
Now that a popular parody and meme app in China called “Neihan Duanzi” has been shut down and its social media account on WeChat got deleted, fans of the app are gathering in solidarity offline in subtle protest.
Drivers are honking at each other in code to indicate that they’re fans, The New York Timesreports. A coded message might be a car honk, followed by a pause, and two more honks.
This week, while in the US Congress was slowly grilling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in China, regulators brought down swift bans on offending news apps and social media apps. On Monday, China banned several big news apps including Jinri Toutiao, owned by Beijing-based Bytedance Technology. Then, the following day, authorities shut down Neihan Duanzi, a platform for users to share parody skits, citing vulgar content on the platform that “triggered strong resentment from internet users.”
Toutiao’s CEO, Zhang Yiming, issued an apology letter soon after for “publishing a product that collided with core socialist values.” While Toutiao is expected to return online by April 30th, Duanzi has been permanently shut down, according to an April 10th statement from its site. China had previously banned video spoofs and parodies in a March directive, a lot of which appeared on Duanzi.
Here is a link to a YouTube video showing the numbers of cars honking out tunes on Chang’an avenue (Beijing’s equivalent of the Champs Elysees leading up to Tiananmen Square) over the last couple of nights.
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