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Cover Stories Series 2011> Micro-blogging in China> Backgrounder
UPDATED: January 24, 2011 NO. 4 JANUARY 27, 2011
Landmark Events in 2010

- On September 10, the self-immolation of three residents in Yihuang, Jiangxi Province, who were protesting the forced demolition of their home, was broadcast live by a member of the victims' family, attracting nationwide attention. Several local officials, including the county head, were later held accountable.

- After a terrible fire in an apartment building in Shanghai on November 15, netizens called for bouquets for the victims through micro-blogs. Officials joined local residents in a public memorial service on November 22.

- Two leading Chinese Internet companies, Tencent and Qihoo 360, were engaged in a month-long tussle in September, in which they accused each other of spying, hacking and leaking users' private information, affecting thousands of users. Millions of Chinese netizens gathered on micro-blogs, to condemn the practice.


- Li Qiming, a 22-year-old drunk driver, caused a car accident at Hebei University on October 16. When caught by security guards, Li shouted, "Go ahead, sue me if you dare. My dad is Li Gang!"

Micro-blogs were the first to reveal his father's identity. "My dad is Li Gang!" has since become a popular Internet catchphrase in China, used ironically in conversation by speakers trying to avoid responsibility.


- Yu Jianrong, a professor at the Rural Development Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, made public a war of words between himself and local officials in Jiangxi Province over forced demolitions of private homes on his micro-blog on November 1.

A local official allegedly challenged Yu by asking, "What would intellectuals like you have if it weren't for forced demolitions?"

- On November 23, Xiamen police released information of a murder case on its micro-blog and asked for netizens' help to provide clues. On November 29, micro-bloggers' tip-offs helped the police catch the murderers.


- On December 6, Hong Kong writer Louis Cha was rumored to be dead through micro-blogs.

The incident triggered suggestions the government should focus on developing its information channels by using micro-blogs to prevent false rumors.



- The wife of blogger Fang Zhouzi, known for exposing academic fraud, revealed a violent attack on the famous "science cop" on Fang's micro-blog.

Police investigations found it was masterminded by a urologist who, Fang said, had been involved in academic fraud. Beijing police first announced the arrest of the attackers on its micro-blog.



- Zhou Libo, a famous Shanghai-based stand-up comedian, called the Internet "a public toilet," where netizens throw their "private crap," on his micro-blog on November 20.

The comments sparked public anger and condemnation.



- Tang Jun, former President of Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., becomes the focus of public controversy over his credentials, after being accused of fabricating his resume by well-known whistleblower Fang Zhouzi on his micro-blog on July 1.

Tang had been considered a "star employee" in China due to his supposed innovative and professional spirit.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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