Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

February 27, 2019

Chinese Broadcaster Faces Criticism After Changing Reference to Homosexuality During Malek’s Speech


Chinese broadcaster Mango TV is facing criticism after its online transmission of the Oscars amended a reference to homosexuality in best actor winner Rami Malek's speech.
Accepting the award for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody, a biopic of British rock act Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek said the film could help those struggling with their identity.
"We made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life unapologetically himself," the actor said.
But Mango TV, one of China's most popular channels, avoided using the words "gay man", instead of translating them as "special group".
The broadcaster has previously come under fire for censoring LGBT references in the Eurovision Song ContestThe mistranslation has generated significant reaction online. Tens of thousands of users of Sina Weibo, a Chinese micro-blogging platform, shared screenshots of the broadcaster's coverage.
Prominent music blogger Linglei Guodu was among those to note the mistranslation.
"Mango TV translated 'gay man' as 'special group'", the blogger wrote on Weibo, alongside a screenshot of Mango TV's broadcast, in a post that has more than 14,000 shares.
"There are still so many people in today's society who show prejudice or discriminate by referring to so-called 'special people'," another user wrote.
"Even the word 'gay' can't appear on our screens, this is so sad."
"What on earth are they afraid of?" one asked.
Others noted previous incidents of censorship involving Mango TV.
Screenshot of Switzerland's Eurovision performance with a rainbow flag in the audience blurred out and circledImage copyrightMANGO TV
Image captionA screenshot from Mango TV shows a blurred rainbow flag in the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest
In 2018, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) barred the Chinese broadcaster from airing the Eurovision Song Contest after it censored LGBT elements of the competition, including blurring audience members' rainbow flags.
The EBU said the censorship was "not in line with its values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music".
Mango TV has not responded to the criticism online.
Chinese authorities have embarked on a campaign in recent years aimed at purging content that it deems inappropriate.
In April, Weibo announced a move to ban gay content on its platform. But that decision was reversed following a massive outcry.

January 7, 2019

Linkedin Profiles Censored Zhou Fengsuo in Repressive China


 Gerhard Joren/LightRocket via Getty Images

LinkedIn censored, and then quickly restored, the profile of a New York-based Chinese human rights activist on its Chinese platform after a wave of negative publicity.

Zhou Fengsuo, one of the founders of a nonprofit organization that aids political prisoners and other vulnerable groups in China, is best known as one of the student leaders of the pro-democracy protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, which ended in a bloody crackdown by the Chinese government. He was forced into exile in the United States over his role in the student movement, which landed him on a most-wanted list in China. 

On Jan. 3, LinkedIn sent Zhou a message saying although the company "strongly supports freedom of expression," his profile and activities would not be viewable to users in China because of "specific content on your profile."

Hours later, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn reversed its decision, apparently after South China Morning Post reporter Owen Churchill brought attention to the case. 

The development comes as Silicon Valley companies come under increasing pressure over their compliance with censorship rules in authoritarian countries such as China. Netflix this week pulled an episode of Hasan Minhaj's political comedy show in Saudi Arabia, apparently because it was critical of the Saudi government. And Google recently faced heavy criticism for a secret project that would have brought a censored version of its search platform to users in China, though the company has reportedly scrapped the project amid protests from its own employees.

LinkedIn, one of the few non-Chinese social media platforms not blocked by China's heavy-handed online censorship apparatus has agreed to remove certain content in China that violates government rules. But like other tech companies, LinkedIn doesn't usually disclose what content is taken down, in response to which authorities, and why.

In the message to Zhou, LinkedIn says it is notifying him that his profile would not be visible in China as a transparency measure, prompting criticism from human rights advocates including Peter Dahlin, director of the group Safeguard Defenders and a campaigner against extrajudicial detention in China. 

Asked about the reasoning behind the decision, Nicole Leverich, a spokesperson for LinkedIn, said, "our Trust and Safety team has reviewed this issue, determined the profile was blocked in error and restored the visibility of the member’s profile in China."

She declined to respond to questions about whether LinkedIn initially took the profile down at the request of Chinese government authorities or what content on Zhou's profile prompted the decision.

Zhou told BuzzFeed News he wasn't certain why his profile was targeted but said it came the same day that his WeChat account was suspended, leading him to suspect a demand from authorities had resulted in both suspensions. WeChat, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, frequently censors politically sensitive content at the request of Chinese government authorities. Zhou believes the trigger for the suspensions was a 29-minute video he posted that centers on the massacre near Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Zhou was one of the student leaders of the pro-democracy protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Zhou was one of the student leaders of the pro-democracy protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Zhou was one of the student leaders of the pro-democracy protests at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.
"I feel threatened and outraged," he said. LinkedIn's decision was doubly painful for him, he said, as a survivor of that massacre — an event the Chinese government has sought to censor and repress for decades.

"As as Tiananmen survivor, my profile was erased from Chinese public together with the whole movement since 1989," he said. "Now the western companies are by default complicit with [the Chinese Communist Party]."

"What is normal for others is, for me, a fight against ignorance and forced amnesia," he added.

November 28, 2018

HIV Researchers Slam Chinese Scientists Who Engineered Twins As Reckless and Probably Not Resistant to HIV

                             Image result for engineered human embryos

HIV researchers are incensed that the first reported use of gene editing in human embryos was aimed at conferring HIV immunity, criticizing the move as reckless and unnecessary.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that twin girls Lulu and Nana were born after a team led by He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, edited their genes when they were days-old embryos. Their father reportedly had HIV, and the procedure wiped out a gene that is usually necessary for the virus to infect cells. The news, first reported by MIT Technology Review, broke before the scientist had published any of his data, and was accompanied by YouTube videos in which He described his work. Genetics experts immediately criticized the project as premature and said it risked conferring dangerous mutations to the twins.
Adding to that chorus, HIV researchers told BuzzFeed News that such a procedure doesn’t make sense for preventing HIV. Targeting and knocking out a single gene, as He claimed to do, does not offer resistance against all strains of the virus. What’s more, there are simpler and less risky ways for people with HIV to have children without transmitting the disease. Critics also said that the move draws additional stigma to people with HIV.
“It’s all such, such bullshit,” said Paula Cannon, a professor of immunology at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “I’m angry on behalf of the genetic engineering community. I’m angry on behalf of the HIV community.”
“It feels a little crazy to have HIV be involved in what appears to be the first-ever attempt to gene-edit a human being from birth,” Richard Jefferys, of the HIV/AIDS advocacy organization Treatment Action Group, told BuzzFeed News. “It just seems all kinds of wrong.” 
The researchers said that existing methods already offer parents simple ways to have children without transmitting the disease. “It’s very easy — there’s no reason a HIV-positive man can’t have HIV-negative children,” Cannon said. “Dr. He’s just making up a medical need that is not there.”
For instance, the CDC and World Health Organization have suggested combining in-vitro fertilization and “sperm washing,” in which the semen — which could carry cells infected with the virus — is separated from the sperm cells, which cannot be infected. “There was no need to participate in an experiment involving the gene editing of embryos in order to avoid transmitting HIV,” Jefferys said.  
In one of five videos introducing the procedure, He said that pioneering gene-editing trials in the US had already targeted this gene, and suggested that the approach was known and safe.

Cannon refuted that characterization, calling it an “incorrect extrapolation.” She said that other trials that had sought to knock out the same gene, known as CCR5, had significant differences: They included adults who were already HIV-positive and had consented to participate; the editing technique did not use CRISPR or the variation that He used in his work; and crucially, the edits to the genes were made after cells had been isolated from study subjects.
“Nothing from the trials concerns us in terms of safety — but it’s too early to say if CCR5 knockouts, even in HIV-infected individuals, is going to be an effective therapy,” Cannon said.
Among his justifications for picking CCR5 as a worthy target, He said that he was concerned about discrimination that people with the disease faced. “Employers may fire people after discovering their HIV status. Doctors may refuse to treat,” He said. The method may help some “very high-risk families protect their children from this same fate.”
Cannon said that He’s choice actually increased the stigma associated with HIV. “He’s now branding HIV as something so terrible that you, as an embryo, need to be gene-edited to make sure you can’t get it. Please. You could also just educate people, or wear a condom, or if you are at high risk, you can take anti-retroviral medication,” Cannon said.
The technique, even if successful, would not fully protect the girls from infection, the experts said.
Researchers who have been studying HIV elimination for the past few years have zeroed in on CCR5 as a gene of interest because it codes for a protein that most kinds of HIV need to infect cells. But not all strains of the HIV family of viruses use this path. If the twins were exposed to any of these alternative strains, they could still be infected.
“If you have any other flavors of the virus, then knocking out CCR5 is not going to work,” Cannon said.

August 23, 2018

A Time in China- A Time For Change

by Jo Dee |
China Gay力: A Time for Change

Like many foreigners who have been in China for a few years, I have become acutely aware of the cycles, the coming and going of different people and the subsequent changes in the community. It is around this time, with the start of the new school year, that this transition happens. This year, I was hit hard by a feeling of sadness, having yet again a new wave of people leave the city. 

Over the past few weeks, however, I’ve met many newbies, hungry to discover all that this grand city has to offer. Meeting these people has led to some wonderful experiences, their hunger and my inability to say no has led to us organizing queer bar crawls, dancing in rainbow Morphsuits just because we feel like it, ‘queer takeovers’ of spaces, and of course, parading down the streets of Beijing in the Rainbow Ride, a hot-pink and rainbow-covered sanlunche. 


These experiences in the past weeks with the Rainbow Ride, with 10 people crammed on and a couple more pushing, the laughter and the stories told on it, has reminded me about all the times this has happened before, albeit with a different set of bodies. It has been with me from the very beginning of my queer life here, has experienced the cycles and the changes in the community over the past few years. It has witnessed the nurturing of a community and just how magical and life-changing this can be. There is no denying that there is something beautiful and consistent that exists here in our international queer community. No matter where we come from, there is something special here that will touch and change us.

Adapting to a new place is hard, but for those of you who are new, be not afraid to step out of your comfort zone and seek out the queer community. It is vibrant and welcoming, and you will become a part of this magic in no time at all.

So it is with anticipation that I look forward to meeting the new faces of our community, and wonder what adventures are in store for us next. 

Aug 22-26: 14 Years of Destination
To celebrate their 14th anniversary, Destination puts on a variety of special events throughout the week and into the weekend. Wednesday is their weekly drag show, Thursday from 8 pm is a free musical sing-along of The Sound of Music, whereas Friday and Saturday is their party night featuring the regular go-go boys and queens. The weekend will climax with a foam and city slides paradise party in their outdoor courtyard (1-7pm, see poster above). Multiple dates, times, and prices. Destination and DesLink

Aug 25: THVNDR Presents False Witness
False Witness is an audio-visual identity designed by sound artist and producer Marco Gomez, who explores electronic music through a queer lens. Resident DJ of New York City’s GHE20G0TH1K club night since 2014, he is also one of the original founding members of the queer art collective #KUNQ. DJs Joy Ginger, Luxixi, and DJ青 provide support. RMB 80. 10pm. Dada

Drag Night @ Des Link
Destination’s focus on fashioning itself as an inclusive destination for the entire LGBTQ+ community shows best during its Wednesday night fiestas. Dress to be, be to impress, and don't miss the Queens of Beijing's spectacular free show from 11pm onwards. Free. 8pm. Des Link 

The Closet
Alternatively, Nali Patio's La Social continues its growing gay-friendly night The Closet on Thursdays (pictured at top), featuring some of the most ludicrously-named cocktails that have ever been, case in point: Urethra Franklin and Cum Burglar. Best yet, if you're willing to put beef aside, you can get half-price on any drink by kissing your enemy before 10pm (or your BFF, but where's the fun in that?). With those games, things are bound to get rowdy. Free. 8pm. La Social

Especially for the ladies
Huoli Ladies Bar
Tucked away under the Sanlitun Soho complex, Huoli is an intimate ladies bar with special ‘singles activities’ on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays designed for, ahem, getting to know each other better. Great for a first date if you, like me, believe that furry handcuffs, naughty drinking games and a rickety staircase leading to a cozy cushion balcony are perfect conversation starters. Intimate and fun, it’s a good place to meet new people. There is a minimum order, and the menu is a little confusing given that it contains a large array of different combination sets of beers, weak cocktails, shots, and snacks. Free. Daily 7pm-3am. Huoli Ladies Bar


AMO Club
The biggest club for ladies, the Beijing branch is quite literally an underground club you could just about live in. Open from 8pm onwards every night, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest, with live DJs and T&P performances. For special events, they have performances with opportunities to get involved with the games on stage and win prizes. Some drinks can be bought on their own, but most prefer some of their combos of beers or hard liquor with snacks. Here, ice cream in vodka could be a thing. For more information, follow their WeChat account. Free. Daily 8pm-5am. AMO Club

Watch this space for more queer events that roll in in the future. If you have an event or venue you would like featured, get in touch at

Images: Jo Dee, courtesy of the organizers

May 21, 2018

Czech Supreme Court Allows Gay Partners To Adopt ~Another First~When Professional Surfer in China Comes out as Gay

The Czech supreme court has ruled for the first time that two gay partners should be legally recognised as the fathers of a surrogate child, the daily Mladá Fronta reported on Saturday. 
The child was born a few months ago to a surrogate mother in California through artificial insemination. In its ruling, issued at the beginning of May, the Czech supreme court sustained a decision issued by a court in California, which recognised the two men as the baby girl’s parents.
Since 2006, gays and lesbians in the Czech Republic can live in an officially registered partnership. However, they are still prevented from adopting children as a couple, which means that the non-biological partner does not have the same legal rights to the child.

[This Page is reposted from Out Sports By 
Xu Jingsen, or ASam, is a surfer from China.  

A professional surfer in China has come out publicly as gay, believed to be 
the first Chinese athlete who has come out as LGBT. 
The surfer, Xu Jingsen, or ASam in an Anglicized translation, will attend 
the August Gay Games in Paris. 
In a post on China’s popular messaging service Weibo, read by more than 360,000 people, ASam explained his decision (as translated by the Federation of Gay Games and Bing)
While homosexuality is legal in China, LGBT people still face societal and legal pressure. We can’t find another example of a Chinese athlete who has come out as LGBT. We also don’t know how extensive ASam’s athletic background is, though the World Surf database lists a Xu Jingsenwho competed professionally in 2013. 

Surfing is not a sport at the Gay Games, but a photo from the Federation of Gay Games indicated ASam will be swimming and playing basketball. Regardless, he is taking a brave step forward for LGBT athletes from China.

May 15, 2018

China Will provide Trump Loan Guarantees ($500Millions) for Trump Branded Hotels and Gulf Courses

Donald Trump is already handing out concessions to China on trade rules, and the big question is why.
Chinese electronics manufacturer ZTE is at the center of burgeoning trade conflict as Trump tries to close the US trade deficit with China (which isn’t actually a problem). ZTE is near bankruptcy because the Trump administration has forbidden US companies to sell it vital components after it was caught red-handed violating international sanctions in Iran. It’s got a bit of a rough history.
Then, Trump changed course, announcing “too many jobs in China lost.” He promised to fix the problem as part of a larger trade deal and for the sake of his personal relationship with Chinese strongman Xi Jingping.
This baffled observers of all stripes—and of course, directly contradicts the US position articulated by commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, who says the ban on ZTE sales was an independent law enforcement action, not a negotiating ploy.
But it’s a ploy now because Trump said so—and the question is, did Trump get anything out of this negotiation for the American people?
The Washington Post’s Dan Drezner (who moonlights as a Tufts University professor) thinks Trump blinked. He was not prepared to exploit his leverage and is stumbling towards any face-saving deal—even if it is just a return to the trade status-quo he has lambasted for years. The result will be a mediocre deal.
But another theory of Trump’s negotiating is that the real deal has already been made: The South China Morning Post reports that Chinese state enterprises will provide $500 million in loans to a development project in Indonesia that will include Trump-branded hotels, residences, and golf courses. The project, part of China’s Belt and Road plan for infrastructure spending, stands to funnel millions of dollars into the Trump Organization, the president’s private business.
Asked if this was in violation of Trump’s promise not to enter new foreign deals as president, the White House directed reporters to the Trump Organization. It’s not the only time Trump has apparently broken this promise: The Trump Organization has a contract with Chinese companies at a project in Dubai. China also granted Trump a portfolio of valuable trademarks shortly after he was elected.
When taking office, Trump did not divest himself of his company, as other presidents have done with their financial assets upon election. Instead, he passed control of the organization to his sons, and numerous reports show that he remains involved with the business. Trump also faces a federal lawsuit alleging that money he receives from foreign nationals at his hotels violates the “emoluments” cause of the constitution, which forbids Americans in public office from accepting payments from a foreign state.
And of course, Trump has still not released his tax returns, raising questions about what other businesses he may be trying to hide from public view. With all the ambiguity, it’s difficult to understand who the president is negotiating for when his team sits down with a Chinese delegation this week.
“You’re asking about a private organization’s dealings that may have to do with a foreign government,” White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said yesterday in response to questions about the Indonesia deal. “That’s not something that I can speak to.”

May 11, 2018

Chinese Broadcaster Censors The Rainbow at Show from Eurovision

Screenshot of Switzerland's Eurovision performance with a rainbow flag in the audience blurred out and circled GO TV

The Eurovision Song Contest may be the ultimate in camp spectacle, but for viewers in China some LGBT elements of the singing competition have reportedly been censored. 
Mango TV, which broadcast the semi-final of Eurovision, and is one of China's most popular TV channels, has come under fire by some on social media for apparently blurring rainbow flags and censoring tattoos.
According to the state-owned news organisation Global Times, Mango TV also decided not to air performances by Irish or Albanian delegations during Tuesday's event for various reasons. The second semi-final is on Thursday night.
The Voice of Homosexuality, a verified account on Chinese social media platform Weibo, shared a number of still images of some of the censored performances. 

Screenshot from Weibo account of The Gay Voice IBO 
The account reflected that the broadcaster's decision to remove references to homosexuality was a "major step backwards" for a network which has previously been more liberal in its approach to the representation of LGBT characters. 

The post points out Mango TV, which was previously know as Hunan TV, broadcasts China's most popular show, Happy Camp, which has previously starred gay performers.  An account with tens of thousands of followers called Global Gay News also posted on Weibo to call the censorship "absurd" and ask "why is the rainbow flag not permitted?"

Screenshot from Weibo account of Global Gay NewsImage copyrightHUNAN TV
Presentational white space

Responding to the post, some Weibo users called for people to "boycott Mango TV," and one user said they "absolutely won't be watching Mango TV next month".
Others said they were "going to rush out and buy a rainbow umbrella". 
Weibo users also discussed Mango TV's decision not to air Ireland's entry into this year's competition. 
Ryan O'Shaughnessy will be representing Ireland at the final in Lisbon on Saturday with a song about the end of a relationship. His performance was accompanied by two male dancers.  Recently there have been moves by the Chinese authorities to restrict the posting of LGBT content on social media, and in 2016 the authorities banned depictions of gay people on television
Weibo user Mr Tito shared the full video of the Irish entry, referencing the missing performance on Mango TV.

Screenshot from Weibo account of Mr TitoImage copyrightWEIBO
Presentational white space

Mango TV also reportedly did not broadcast the pop-rock performance by Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa.
Many Weibo commenter's suggested censors had taken issue with the exposed tattoos of Bushpepa and his band mates. 
Eugent Bushpepa and band performing Albania's entry into the 2018 Eurovision Song ContestIn January, the Chinese authorities took steps to restrict the broadcast of "subculture" elements, which included rules against displaying tattoos on TV.

Image copyright

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