China Cracks Down on Booksellers, Publishers, Free Speech (audio)

UPDATE Feb 29, 2016Missing Hong Kong booksellers paraded on Chinese TV (bbc.com"... The five men, who disappeared late last year, worked at a publishing house that sold books critical of China's leaders. Some people in Hong Kong believe they were detained by China because of a book about President Xi Jinping. Four of the men from Mighty Current publishing house, Gui Minhai, Lui Bo, Lam Wingkei and Cheung Jiping, gave details of their alleged offences during their appearance on Phoenix TV (in Chinese) on Sunday. Public confessions have long been a part of China's criminal law, but experts say many confessions are forced ..."  --[end of UPDATE]--
Paul Tang, owner of the People's Bookstore in Hong Kong, is still selling works that are critical of the Chinese leadership and are banned on the mainland. Five people in the Hong Kong book industry disappeared recently. Some have turned up in police custody on the mainland. See: China faces diplomatic 'crisis' over missing Hong Kong booksellers | Reuters and Hong Kong's missing booksellers and 'banned' Xi Jinping book - BBC News.

"In Hong Kong's densely packed Causeway Bay district, a red sign with a portrait of Chairman Mao looms over the bustling storefronts and shoppers. The sign indicates that there is coffee, books and Internet on offer inside ... The aroma of coffee and the sound of jazz waft over the book-browsing customers ... a frequent visitor from the mainland, who only gives his surname, Zhang. He's browsing a book on a topic completely absent from mainland bookstores: the independence movement in China's far west region of Xinjiang. Paul Tang cares about helping his mainland customers. He believes in the freedom of speech and the press guaranteed under Hong Kong's laws."In theory, the mainland enjoys freedom of the press," he tells me in a hushed voice. "But in reality, we're not allowed to mention these forbidden topics. So many mainland readers come looking for these books out of curiosity. To put it simply, over here, you can read the truth." While some mainland-owned booksellers have taken banned books off their shelves, Tang says, "We will keep our style." However, he predicts that if the current crackdown takes out too many publishers, "we may need to migrate to other topics, in case we don't have enough products for customers."


Source: NPR

  1. Sound like a good environment to sell domain names to wannabe internet publishers?
  2. Who will be the first "missing" new gTLD registry operator, registrar, registrant?
  3. When will dot SUCKS enter the Chinese market in a "big way"--with domains for $0.99--like .XYZ et al?
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