Why Chinese Cyberspace Looks a Bit Thin: 1000 Missing Words

September 20, 2004

Xiao Qiang, former director of Human Rights Watch, New York, writes about the list of words secretly blocked by QQ2003, China's most popular Instant Messaging Service. This list of words is in a program file, COMtoolKit.dll, automatically included with the QQ2003 software when customers first install it. The list covers several categories of terms: sex (15%), Falungong (20%), current officials' names (15%), political rights (10%), and corruption (15%). Interestingly, Jiang Zeming's legacy theory, the "Three Represents," is also included among the items blocked.