This year, China has seen a reignited #MeToo
movement, young people have challenged unethical working hours, and the
nation has united in concern against the aggressive rollout of AI
technologies.To get more chinese news
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But the government has also promoted its own interests related to the
environment, the business sector, and of course, in Hong Kong.In the
last six months, this one topic has dominated news coverage on social
media platforms both inside and outside mainland China.
In fact the large-scale Hong Kong protests, which attracted international media
attention in early June, led to the word "Hong Kong" initially becoming a
censored search term on 9 June. When the protests first began, the
Beijing government censored any reference to them, but after it became
clear they wouldn't go away, official media mounted a heavy media
campaign to portray the demonstrations as violent with "shades of
Hashtags including #SupportTheHongKongPolice
were aggressively rolled out by government media on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo.
In contrast, on Twitter and Instagram, protestors used the hashtag #FightForFreedomStandWithHK
- slogans that have subsequently become associated with the demonstrations.
Ahead of China rolling out a controversial social credit system in 2020, as a
means of assessing citizens' economic and social reputation, one phrase
has repeatedly cropped up: the need for more "civilised behaviours".
The Beijing government has left it to regions to determine how they
implement this, and as a result, a number of regulations encouraging
citizens to be "civilised" have come into effect around the country, but
have also left people scratching their heads.
In July, the eastern Chinese city of Jinan banned topless men and the "Beijing bikini": the
habit of men exposing their bellies by rolling up their shirt.
In May, the capital targeted manspreading and eating on the subway, and
eastern Nanjing has warned jaywalkers - pedestrians who cross the road
at a red light - that their social credit could be impacted if they
failed to wait for the little green man..China's development of
artificial intelligence technologies has rocketed this year, but online
topics related to the rise of facial recognition technologies have
raised eyebrows and ignited a lot of concern online.
Early in the year, payment service Alipay extensively worked with retail stores to
enable consumers to buy products using facial recognition. But by July,
it announced that it was adding beauty filters to facial scan payment
devices, noting that the majority of consumers were not comfortable with
the technology, and hated seeing their face to pay.
Facial recognition has been mocked for its imperfections. In May, a security
camera wrongly identified a man scratching his face as taking a phone
And there have been a string of controversies related to platforms being unnecessarily intrusive when collecting consumers'