Liang Xiangyi Eye Roll

Liang Xiangyi Eye Roll

Part of a series on Internet Censorship in China. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 15, 2018 at 05:38AM EDT by Y F.

Added Mar 14, 2018 at 02:15PM EDT by Matt.

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About

Liang Xiangyi Eye Roll refers to jokes, videos and online discussion regarding the frustrated facial movement of Chinese reporter Lian Ziangyi during a perceived fawning question for the Chinese government at the National People’s Congress. References and tributes to the moment were censored online by the Chinese government.

Origin

On March 13th, 2018, during National People’s Congress, Liang Xiangyi, a reporter for the financial news site Yicai, was recorded rolling her eyes at what she saw as a particularly fawning question for a Chinese official (shown below).[1]



The question roughly translated to:

The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic of universal concern. Therefore, as the director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, what new moves will you make in 2018? This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up Policy, and our country is going to further extend its openness to foreign countries. With General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi proposing the One Belt One Road Initiative, state-owned enterprises have increased investment to countries along the route of One Belt One Road, so how can the overseas assets of state-owned enterprises be effectively supervised to prevent loss of assets? What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what’s the result of our supervision? Please summarize for us, thank you."

Spread

Following the incident, people online began to meme the moment. On March 13th, 2018, Twitter [2] user and Bloomberg reporter shared a video of people parodying the eye roll. The post (shown below) received more than 300 retweets and 1,600 likes.

On Twitter, the incident was discussed under the hashtag "#eyerollgate."[3]




Additionally, various online retailers in China began selling images of the eye roll for t-shirts and smartphone cases (shown below).


841中国移动 4G 下午4:44 蓝衣白眼 全部 天猫 店铺 综合排序. 9相关宝贝太少了,试试 淘攻略 挑尖货 销量优先 筛选 蓝衣衣白眼 耿直girl蓝衣女记者leonie翻白眼 ¥28.80人付款 淄博进店 leonie梁蓝衣女鄙视红衣女翻白眼 嫌弃原创朋克定制手机壳 -38 0人付款 南京进店>

Banning

Later that evening, references to the video and mentions of Liang Xiangyi name were banned from Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent.[4]

Additionally, the Chinese government sent an "urgent notice" to media outlets, banning mention of the episode. The notice read: "Urgent notice: all media personnel are prohibited from discussing the Two Sessions blue-clothed reporter incident on social media. Anything already posted must be deleted. Without exception, websites must not hype the episode."

Virtually all major media outlets covered the censorship, including CNN,[5] The New York Times, The Washington Post,[6] BBC,[7] The Guardian[8] and more.

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