The Case of Bo Xilai and Sina Weibo

As posted before , the Sina Weibo is the Chinese own version of microblogs.  In China ,there are over 550 million microblog users. Social media enhanced the political discussion,and provided a new kind of ” public sphere” to pursue the truth behind the scene. “But one thing is certain.   Before the advent of social media, the government never owed the people an explanation. […] Today, with tens of millions of Chinese actively use Sina Weibo, a low murmur of political gossip may have already been amplified and heard by thousands before the internet police step in.”  Jing Gao reflects.

Taking the case study of Bo Xilai in Chinese political realm.


Bo is the former leader of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Chong Qing. But he is taken down by the reason of “serious discipline violations” and his wife’s murder of a British businessman Neil Heywood over the “economic interests

Within this incident, social media has severely challenged the state though many issues. Rumors begun to spread in the February and just got confirmed in several months later. The CCP  reacted later than  the rumors have begun to be widely discussed in the online sphere though Sina Weibo and Tencent microblog. At last, in April, the Xinhua confirmed that the rumours became the truth.

The public debate also leads to the political corruption that toward the enrichment of party officials. There is a famous phrase called “Tai Zi Dang” in Chinese, which means the party of princes who is the son of former senior officials in CCP. Fortune generated by the party officials is enormous that in China , we always talk about ” you should be a government official rather than a business man.”  It is a bit hard for people from western society to understand this, though it is true in Chinese society under the system of bureaucracy.

And meanwhile , Sina Weibo supplies a platform for folks to discuss certain issues that can probably function as a “public sphere”, whether it is true or not , it does influence the society a lot. When the sensitive message has been posted, it always took a few minutes for officials to censor it , but the message has already spread that a few amount of people can receive it. Partial activism is enhanced by this platform, it is good to see the improvement of democracy in mainland China, not always brain-washing or not-so-sophisticated propaganda.


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