List of words censored by search engines in the People's Republic of China

The government of the People's Republic of China has set up a system of internet censorship, intending to block internet users within Mainland China from accessing material deemed undesirable, such as foreign news sites, sites with dissident political content, many Taiwanese websites, and pornography.

One part of the block is to remove some websites from search results on search engines. These search engines include both the local version of international search engines (e.g. as well as domestic ones (e.g. Baidu, Sohu). In general, regardless of whether a term is sensitive or not, many well known websites are removed form the search result, such as western news and government websites like BBC and VOA. In addition, access to a handful of US-based universities are blocked, as these websites often contain discussions regarding issues deemed politically sensitive by the Communist Party of China.

Some words are sensitive. Attempting to search for such a term may result in the turning on of the "safe search" feature, and limiting the result pages in China. However, the general internet traffic filter may interrupt a HTTP connection between the browser and the server if it detects intensive sensitive words in plaintext, as it does with other protocols, such as the Post Office Protocol, and any sequence connection to the server is also denied. This filter affects self-censored search engines, since their censorship is filtering websites, not keywords. This system is described in greater detail at Internet censorship in mainland China.

Any sequence containing the term is also blocked. For example, since (zh-ts|t=法輪|s=法轮) ("falun", or "dharma chakra") is blocked, so are 法轮功 (Falun Gong) and ((zh-ts|t=轉法輪|S=:转法轮) ("Turning dharma chakra"). Also, only the Chinese terms are blocked, while the English terms are freely searchable (unless specified otherwise).

This list is not intended to be exhaustive. Most were verified for Simplified Chinese searches for the Baidu search engine. It is known that trying from different locations inside and outside China, on different search engines, and at different times can yield different results.

General concepts

Chinese phrases are given as "traditional" / "simplified" where they differ.

*民主 (democracy)
** (not blocked by Baidu [] )
** (not blocked by Sohu [] )
*人權 / 人权 (human rights)
** (not blocked by Baidu [] )
** (not blocked by Sohu [] )
** "not blocked": 自由 (freedom), 改革 (reform), 選舉 / 选举 (elections), 多黨 / 多党 (multi-party), and 平反 (rehabilitate)
*獨裁 / 独裁 (dictatorship)
** (not blocked by Sohu [] )
** (not blocked by Baidu [] , [] , [] , [] )
** "not blocked": 法西斯 (fascism)
*專政 / 专政 (dictatorship)
*專制 / 专制 (despotism)
*反共 (anti-communist)
** "not blocked": 反黨 / 反党 (anti-party), 反革命 (counterrevolutionary), and 反動 / 反动 (reactionary)
*共匪 (communist bandits) — this was the term used by the Kuomintang to refer to the communists
*群體滅絕 / 群体灭绝 (genocide)
*鎮壓 / 镇压 (oppression)
** "not blocked": 推翻 (overthrow), 政變 / 政变 (coup), 打倒 ("down with") and 維權 / 维权 (Protect rights)
*封鎖 / 封锁 (Blocking)
*勞教 / 劳教 (Reeducation through labor)
*紅色恐佈 / 红色恐怖 (Red Terror)
*邪惡 / 邪恶 (evil)


*中俄邊界 / 中俄边界 (Sino-Russian border) - refers to the Sino-Russian Border Treaty, which has been attacked by nationalists and dissident groups as a betrayal of Chinese sovereignty and dignity
** "not blocked": 黑瞎子島 / 黑瞎子岛 (Heixiazi Island) and 銀龍島 / 银龙岛 (Yinlong Island)
*六四 (June 4), 天安門事件 / 天安门事件 (Tiananmen Square massacre), 民運 / 民運 (Chinese democracy movement) - "June 4th" is the usual Chinese name for the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. In contrast, "Tiananmen" refers to a geographical place and does not usually have the same connotations.
** "not blocked": 文革 (Cultural Revolution), 大躍進 / 大跃进 (Great Leap Forward) and 三年自然災害 / 三年自然灾害 (Three Years of Natural Disasters)
*一塌糊塗 / 一塌糊涂 (YTHT BBS)
**"not blocked": "YTHT"
*汕尾 (Shanwei) - refers to the Dongzhou protests of 2005.
**"not blocked": 太石村 (Taishi Village), 蘇家屯 / 苏家屯 (Sujiatun)
*蟻力神 / 蚁力神 (yilishen

Xinjiang & Tibet

*疆獨 / 疆独 (Xinjiang independence)
*藏強 / 藏独 (Tibetan independence)
*流亡 (exile) - e.g. Government of Tibet in Exile
*達賴 / 达赖 ("dalai", as in Dalai Lama)
*根敦•確吉尼瑪 / 根敦·确吉尼玛 (Gedhun Choekyi Nyima), 根敦•確吉 / 根敦·确吉 (Gedhun Choekyi-), and *確吉尼瑪 / 确吉尼玛 (Choekyi Nyima)
** "not blocked": 額爾德尼•確吉傑布 / 额尔德尼·确吉杰布 (Erdini Qoigyijabu), 班禪喇嘛 / 班禅喇嘛 (Panchen Lama), and 東突厥斯坦 / 东突厥斯坦 (East Turkestan)
* tibetalk - 西藏論壇 / 西藏论坛 , Tibet Talk, []

Dissident groups

*Since 民主 (democracy) is blocked, any political group with that name is also blocked. This includes both dissident groups like 中國民主正義黨 / 中国民主正义党 (Chinese Democracy Justice Party) [] , 民主中國 / 民主中国 (China Democracy) [] and government-sanctioned groups like 中國民主同盟 / 中国民主同盟 (China Democratic League)
*天安門母親 / 天安门母亲 (Tiananmen Mothers)


*魏京生 (Wei Jingsheng)
*王丹 (Wang Dan)
*吾吾爾開希 / 吾尔开希 (Wu'er Kaixi)
*柴玲 (Chai Ling)
*封從德 / 封从德 (Feng Congde)
*丁子霖 (Ding Zilin)
*王若望 (Wang Ruowang)
*劉賓雁 / 刘宾雁(Liu Binyan)
*吳弘達 / 吴弘达 (Harry Wu)
*司待華 / 司徒华 (Szeto Wah)
*方舟子 (Fang Zhouzi; his real name 方是民, Fang Shimin, is not blocked, however)
*張戎 / 张戎 (Jung Chang, author of )
**"not blocked": 王若水 (Wang Ruoshui) and 孫文廣 / 孙文广 (Sun Wenguang)


*江澤民 / 江泽民 (Jiang Zemin)
**Search engines like Baidu, Google, and Yahoo don't block this name.
*江賊 / 江贼, 賊民 / 贼民, 江流氓 (all three describe Jiang Zemin as a bandit)
*江羅 / 江罗 (Jiang Luo, refers to Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan)
**"not blocked": 羅干 / 罗干 (Luo Gan)
*趙紫暘 / 赵紫阳 (Zhao Ziyang)
*鮑彤 / 鲍彤 (Bao Tong)
*黃菊 / 黄菊 (Huang Ju
**No other blocks on the names of politicians have been discovered.
***胡耀邦 (Hu Yaobang)
*** 華國鋒 / 华国锋 (Hua Guofeng)
*** 鄧小平 / 邓小平 (Deng Xiaoping)
*** 毛澤東 / 毛泽东 (Mao Zedong)
*** 周恩來 / 周恩来 (Zhou Enlai)
*** 劉少奇 / 刘少奇 (Liu Shaoqi)
*** 林彪 / 林彪 (Lin Biao)
*** 宋慶齩 / 宋庆龄 (Soong Ching-ling)
*** 孫中山 / 孙中山 (Sun Yat-sen)
*** 彭德懷 / 彭德怀 (Peng Dehuai)
*** 朱德 (Zhu De)
*** 董必武 (Dong Biwu)
*** 萬里 / 万里 (Wan Li)
*** 喬石 / 乔石 (Qiao Shi)
*** 李鵬 / 李鹏 (Li Peng)
*** 朱鎔基 / 朱镕基 (Zhu Rongji)
*** 李瑞環 / 李瑞环 (Li Ruihuan)
*** 曾慶紅 / 曾庆红 (Zeng Qinghong)
*** 李先念 (Li Xiannian)
*** 陳獨秀 / 陈独秀 (Chen Duxiu)
*** 瞿秋白 (Qu Qiubai)
*** 向忠發 / 向忠发 (Xiang Zhongfa)
*** 楊尚昆 / 杨尚昆 (Yang Shangkun)
*** 蔣介石 / 蒋介石 (Chiang Kai-shek)
*These are not blocked.

Dissident news

*大參考 / 大参考 (Dacankao) []
*博訊 / 博讯 (Boxun) []
*華夏文摘 / 华夏文摘 (China News Digest) []
*多維 / 多维 (Chinese News Net) []
*紀元 / 纪元 (Epoch), the second and third characters of 大纪元 (Epoch Times) []
*自由亞洲 / 自由亚洲 , first four characters of (zh-ts|t=自由亞洲電臺|s=自由亚洲电台) (Radio Free Asia) []
*人民報 / 人民报 (Renminbao), []
*peacehall — same as Boxun
*美國之音 / 美国之音 (Voice of America)

Falun Gong

*法輪 / 法轮 ("falun", or "dharma chakra")
*法倫 / 法伦 ("falun")
*輪功 / 轮功 ("lun gong", the second and third characters of Falun Gong)
*輪大 / 轮大 ("lun da", the second and third characters of Falun Dafa)
*大法 ("dafa", or "Great Law")
*洪志 ("hongzhi", given name of Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi)
*弟子 (disciple)
*真善忍 (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance) — the principles of the Falun Gong practice
*明慧 (Minghui, official website of Falun Gong) []
*བོད་ཀྱི་དུས་བབ།, the official website of Bod-Kyi-Dus-Bab Tibet Times
**"not blocked": 王文怡 (Wenyi Wang)


*民進黨 / 民进党 (Democratic Progressive Party)
**"not blocked": 臺灣團結聯盟 / 台湾团结联盟 (Taiwan Solidarity Union), 泛綠 / 泛绿 (Pan-Green), 中華民國 / 中华民国 (Republic of China), and 臺獨 / 台独 (Taiwan independence)
**"not blocked": 國民黨 / 国民党 (Kuomintang) and 泛藍 / 泛蓝 (Pan-Blue)
**"not blocked": 陳水扁 / 陈水扁 (Chen Shui-bian), 呂秀蓮 / 吕秀莲 (Annette Lu) and 李登輝 / 李登辉 (Lee Teng-hui)
**"not blocked": 宋美齡 / 宋美龄 (Song May-ling), 蔣經國 / 蒋经国 (Chiang Ching-kuo), 蔣方良 / 蒋方良 (Chiang Fang-liang), and 馬英九 / 马英九 (Ma Ying-jeou)


*花花公子 (Playboy)


*東方紅時空 / 东方红时空
*九評共產黨 / 九评共产党 (The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party)
*不為人知的故事 / 不为人知的故事 (The Unknown Story) - refers to the book ""
*李志綏 / 李志绥 (Li Zhisui, author of the controversial book "The Private Life of Chairman Mao")
*支那 (Shina (word))

External links

* [ "Keywords Used to Filter Web Content," Washington Post, February 18, 2006]
* [ "Words you will never see in Chinese cyberspace," China Digital Times, August 30, 2004]
* [ "List of blacklisted keywords discovered by ConceptDoppler," ConceptDoppler, September 19 2007]

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