Boston Marathon Bombings, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Explosion near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon from a terrorist attack.

Explosion near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon from a terrorist attack.

On Sina Weibo:

#Boston Bombing#

3 explosions occurred on the 15th in Boston of the United States. During which, at least two explosions occurred near the Boston Marathon finish line, causing at least 2 deaths and over 100 injured. A third explosion occurred near the Boston Kennedy Library. The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation have determined the explosions to be terrorist attacks. At present, the FBI has already targeted a man of Saudi Arabian descent as a suspect.

This hashtag currently has 4.8m discussions, climbing from the #10 trending topic earlier this morning at 8am to become the current #1 trending topic on China’s popular microblogging social network Sina Weibo.

WARNING: An image below may be graphic for certain viewers.

@黄勖夫: They ran in the Boston Marathon for charity, but a terrorist’s bombing caused him to lose both of his feet. A prayer for Boston. [蜡烛]

A man who has lost both his feet during the 2013 Boston Marathon terrorist bombings.

@吴法天: April 15th afternoon, at least two explosions occurred in Boston, causing 2 deaths, and all over TV screens were public commentators mourning. But have public commentators selectively neglected that at the beginning of April, during a air raid military operation against Taliban members, American forces in Afghanistan accidentally killed 17 local civilians, amongst which 12 were children! On the night of April 14th American military unmanned drones performed air attacks in Pakistan, causing at least 4 deaths, with American unnammed drone attacks having already caused at least 67 deaths this year! [蜡烛]

@跑步圣经上海版: #Pray for Boston# “Please light a [蜡烛] for this little girl.” This little child wearing number 1035 and glasses intently running forward is 8 years old this year. At 2:30pm April 15th on the East Coast, during the Boston Marathon Bombing Incident, she lost her life. [蜡烛][蜡烛][蜡烛] Little baby, the road to Heaven has no terrorist attacks, the road to Heaven is one you can freely run on. [泪] Homepage editor is very sad and very angry!!!

Little girl participating in Joe Cassella 5k Run.

[Note: This microblog post was reshared over 12k times and has over 2k comments. It was also publicly flagged by Sina netizens and administrators as containing false information.]

@琢磨先生: No matter what happens on Sina Weibo, it will immediately separate into at least two factions. Kim Jong-un wants to launch a nuclear warhead and there are people who curse it as against humanity, while other people clap their hands applauding it saying that’s a true man who doesn’t succumb to threats. With the Boston Marathon terrorist attack, there are people who condemn the perpetrators mourning the victims, while other people denounce the United States saying the bombing was well-deserved and so satisfying… We have no universal values upon which to build a foundation, so when something happens, many people don’t know from which perspective they should consider something. This, perhaps, is the normal state of things.

On NetEase:

American Marathon Suffers Terrorist Attack, Chain Explosion Kills 3 Wounds Hundreds

Currently over 7.4m pageviews and 70k comment participants.

Comments on NetEase:

羽翼之光 [网易山东省潍坊市网友]:

Those who harm the ordinary people may be put to death by anyone!

jerry.zr [网易美国网友]:

I had just come back from Boston last Wednesday. Good thing I didn’t go watch the marathon. China’s media is going to devote a lot of reporting to this again, right?

yuyebashan [网易江西省新余市网友]: (responding to above)

The domestic media is already massively reporting on this. Our report about the massive Hubei fire burning to death 14 people and injuring 60 has disappeared. Thanks to terrorist attacks, allowing them to finally shift the focus of attention.

simm314 [网易美国网友]:

Fuck! Just two streets away, turns out being alive truly is a matter of probability!

ab1cdef [网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友]:

Good! Let them also hear the sound of explosions in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia! China has an old saying: “It’s not that there won’t be revenge, it’s that the time hasn’t yet come”. Another saying is also appropriate: “Persisting in evil brings about self-destruction”!

荣欢 [网易江苏省镇江市网友]:

American running dogs and their double standards, hurry and kill yourselves to accompany these victims.

网易河北省保定市网友: (responding to above)

The face of a wumao dog. May those who take money to make posts die without descendents!

On NetEase:

United States Marathon Suffers Terrorist Attack, Explosion Causes Mass Injuries

According to the CNN’s latest report, on April 15th local time, multiple explosions occurred near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in the United States, causing over 100 wounded. According to the latest information, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed this marathon explosion as a terrorist attack.

Currently over 59.6m pageviews and 53k comment participants.

Comments on NetEase:

廣東人 [网易美国网友]:

Mobile phones in Boston have already been cut off, we can’t call over there and find out what the local situation is. Looks like various countries are all learning tricks from the TC.


It’s downtown’s signal that has been cut. Boston police are preventing terrorists from using mobile phones to detonate bombs. It’s all been confirmed on the news. I live 5 miles from downtown and the cell phone signal is fine. You think the American Imperialists are stupid cunts?

网易吉林省手机网友: (also responding to 廣東人)

It’s to prevent using mobile phones to remotely control explosives. This has nothing to do with controlling public opinion.

朝鲜人民最高领导人金正恩 [网易河北省邢台市手机网友]: (responding to above)

Second floor [referring to above commenter] rushes to defend his master!
So you think you know more/better?

网易山东省聊城市手机网友: (responding to above)

Third floor [referring to above commenter], just what the hell are you? Fucking bastard simply afraid of the truth!

低调的看客 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

While commenting on this piece of news, I saw on the popular news list a news item that says “netizens cannot be anti every whenever they encounter something about China and pro whenever they encounter something about America, that netizens should be loyal to their country”, and I laughed. You haven’t family-planned brother off, haven’t poisoned brother to death with the food, haven’t buried brother alive with a train, and brother can’t afford your houses, so what am I supposed to love you with? My motherland, alright, it’s time to get out of bed and go to work.

网易贵州省贵阳市网友: (responding to above)

1. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, which school’s graduates has the highest crime rate in the world?
Fan Wei: Vocational schools.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! The Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party.

2. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, what four languages must Chinese government officials be proficient in?
Fan Wei: English, French, Russian, and Japanese.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! False speech, empty speech, boastful speech, and polite speech.

3. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, what has to be hidden and secretly used, and then secretly given to others after you’re finished using it?
Fan Wei: Film negatives.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong, unwritten rules [casting couch].

4. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, what simultaneously makes fake drugs, talks about the efficiency of fake drugs, and criticizes the dangers of fake drugs?
Fan Wei: Con-artists.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong, CCTV.

5. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, you only have a 10 square meter home and your neighbor has gone from 0 square meters to 100 square meters. Has your residential floor space increased or not?
Fan Wei: Not.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong, your average residential floor space has been increased 45 square meters.

6. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, who demands that you’re always responsible to her whereas she will never be responsible to you?
Fan Wei: A mistress.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! The bank.

7. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, what have you been told since you were small as existing, but up to now have never seen before?
Fan Wei: Ghosts.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! A communist society.

8. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, what place looks luxurious and clean on the outside but in actually is about undressing and hiding filth?
Fan Wei: Public toilets.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! The entertainment industry.

9. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, what gets beaten and immediately dives into the water only stick out its head reappearing not far away wearing a vest?
Fan Wei: A tortoise.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! A sacked government official.

10. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, “China’s urban pollution is not caused by cars, but by bicycles. The pollution from bicycles is greater than cars”. This quote was said by whom?
Fan Wei: An insane person.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! A Chinese expert.

11. Zhao Benshan: Please listen to the question, there is a person who often speaks on your behalf, but you’ve never met them, why?
Fan Wei: The father of one’s illegitimate child.
Gao Xiumin: Wrong! An National People’s Congress representative, who doesn’t know who you are but still represents you.

极度幽默 [网易辽宁省营口市网友]:

After seeing this piece of news, brother [referring to self] was so happy brother bought a bottle of Erguotou and a ham sausage, simultaneously enjoying them and watching how American running dogs [referring to “pro-American” Chinese netizens] are going to comment in tears.

网易美国网友: (responding to above)

The intelligence of wumao is limited to just this, unable to see in the photos how ordinary Americans are have the ability to take care of open wounds and injuries, unable to see how the police handle the scene as if they were putting on a show [are organized and efficient], unable to see the United States’ public transparency towards this incident, unable to see America’s leaders determination when they vow to catch the murderers.

Explosion near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon from a terrorist attack.

Errata: We previously mistranslated a part of NetEase netizen ab1cdef’s comment. “不是不报,时候未到” was originally translated as “It’s not that we don’t report it, it’s that the time hasn’t yet come.” Fauna apologizes with great embarrassment.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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