Sat, Jan 12, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Celebrities warned over censorship row

AFP, BEIJING

Chinese authorities handed warnings to several celebrities who voiced support for a newspaper at the center of a censorship battle online, newspaper reports and social media posts said yesterday.

Taiwanese singer Annie Yi (伊能靜), who works in China, said on her social media account that she had been invited to “drink tea” with authorities, a common euphemism for being cautioned by authorities, the South China Morning post reported.

The warning came after Yi — who has more than six million followers on Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblog similar to Twitter — expressed support for Southern Weekly, a newspaper at the center of protests over government censorship this week.

Other Chinese celebrities, including the former Google China, president Lee Kai-fu (李開復), and property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) also said they received invitations to “drink tea,” after posting messages in support of the paper, according to online posts.

The two men have a combined 38 million followers on the site, which last year had more than 400 million registered users.

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