"Emigrate" no longer an option

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As things seem to be spinning out of control in the PRC (generals, bankers, politicians being disappeared left and right; foreign ministers evaporating; a former president being levitated out of his seat at the 20th National Congress; a much-admired premier being heart attacked…), people are increasingly desperate to get out.  We saw this already in the "RUN" phenomenon of more than a year ago during the fallacious Zero Covid nightmare:

"RUNning away from Shanghai" (5/13/22)

"RUN = wrong" (9/29/22)

But now the tempo and anxiety level of those wishing to flee seem to be exponentially increasing, as indicated in this startling report:

China Quickly Removes the Word “Emigrate” from Search Rankings

According to a recent report by Taiwanese news site NewTalk, there was a recent surge of search volume for the word “emigrate” on China’s top social media network WeChat. Volume surged by 1,156 percent, with an astonishing 510 million searches in one day. A few days later, the term “emigrate” (yímín 移民, also translated as “migrate”) was directly deleted from the WeChat Index, demonstrating China’s authoritarian control and the fear it has of its own people.

WeChat’s search index, based on big data collected by the company, represents the change in popularity of a certain keywords on WeChat. As early as when China first implemented the Zero Covid policy, many people began searching for terms related to emmigration, and the keyword’s popularity in WeChat increased rapidly, exceeding 100 million searches. Later during the White Paper Protests near the end of 2022, people’s desire for physical mobility became even stronger, with the WeChat Index recording 116 million searches. China’s economic difficulties have led to more and more Chinese people being dissatisfied with their living conditions.

Although the Chinese authorities attempted to remove terms related to migration from the supported vocabulary of WeChat’s hot-search system, this amounts to nothing more than an act of self-deception; the population’s dissatisfaction with the government will not disappear just because the word “emigrate” has been deleted from the search index.

Source: Newtalk, October 25, 2023
Briefings | | November 1, 2023 | |

If people are determined to escape from tyranny, censoring certain words of their vocabulary won't prevent them from doing so.  You can't mention Winnie the Pooh and Peppa the Pig in the People's Republic of China.  So what.


Selected readings



  1. 8964 said,

    November 1, 2023 @ 6:50 pm

    Neither emigration nor entry:

    Hong Kong denies visa to scholar of China’s 1989 Tiananmen crackdown


  2. JOHN S ROHSENOW said,

    November 2, 2023 @ 2:03 am

    "Runology:” How to "Run Away" From China
    Council on Foreign Relations
    https://www.cfr.org › blog › runology-how-run-away-…
    Jun 1, 2022 — Now, China's forever lockdowns have caused some to look for a
    more radical solution: "runology," or runxue in Chinese. The term plays on the …

    'The Last Generation': The Disillusionment of Young Chinese
    The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com › business › china-covid-zero
    May 24, 2022 — Cheng is part of a new trend known as the “run philosophy,”
    or “runxue,” that preaches running away from China to seek a safer and brighter …

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