Joining Kaiser and Jeremy this week are David Wertime and Rachel Lu from Tea Leaf Nation, along with Paul Mozur from The Wall Street Journal. And our topic? None other than the firestorm that has engulfed Sina Weibo following China’s effective criminalization of anti-government tweeting on September 9, and then the political crackdown that followed this week targeting the more rabble-rousing of celebrity microbloggers on China’s most popular public messaging service.
At the heart of this crackdown lie the fates not only of some of China’s most prominent tech companies, but also the degree of editorial independence of some of the most-followed and influential non-Party businessmen, celebrities, and intellectuals in China. In addition to discussing this, we also ask whether Sino Weibo will continue to be popular under this sort of chilling effect, and to what extent evidence shows that online discussions are already migrating away from the web towards popular mobile services like Weixin (WeChat) with stronger limits on public broadcasting.