The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.
Do not hype or report content touching upon “Two ‘Daddy Xi Loves Mama Peng’ Performers to Hold Vocal Recital” or “Two Henan Grassroots Singers to Hold Concert.” Thoroughly delete any reports that have already been published, and tidy up content on mobile carriers and interactive [comment] sections.” (February 2, 2015)
In November, a group of musicians from Henan released a music video online paying homage to the love between President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. In its first week online, the video gained more than 45 million views on Tencent’s video streaming service, and state media praised the “grassroots” musicians for their efforts, playing up quotes from the musicians claiming that the video represented their “true feelings” and was not a publicity stunt. The video came shortly after Xi Jinping told the nation’s artists to promote Party ideology through their work and praised the “positive energy” of controversial microblogger Zhou Xiaoping. Many netizens criticized the music video, and a playful contraction of its title was coined.
In mid-January, Chinese media reported that two of the musicians responsible for the video, which had now surpassed the widely popular music video “Little Apple” (小苹果) in views, would be holding a charity performance in Zhengzhou, Henan on February 6 [Chinese].
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.