Chinese Newspaper: Internet Does Not Reflect Public Opinion


At time of translation, this microblog post had been forwarded/reshared over 40k times with nearly 20k comments on China’s leading microblogging social network, making it one of the day’s hottest topics…

On Sina Weibo:

@头条新闻: People’s Daily: Online Sentiments Do Not Completely Reflect Public Opinion. People’s Daily today carried an editorial on its front page discussing how the Chinese Red Cross has provided disaster relief for the [Sichuan Ya’an] Lushan Earthquake has been denounced by netizens, claiming that the Red Cross system has received over 566 million RMB in donations, making up over 53% of all donations. The editorial says the facts prove that despite the Red Cross suffering from a credibility crisis, it still has a relatively high level of trust, and that there is a huge disparity between internet public opinion and actual public opinion.


Comments on Sina Weibo:


Truly shameless now.




The People’s Daily is even less representative of public opinion.


Do they know what being forced to donate is? What “special Party fees” are?


Let’s see what would happen if companies didn’t force donations!


If we compare, the difference in the public opinion of Xinwen Lianbo would be even larger. Other than the internet, what other methods of expression is there for public opinion? You can’t keep treating reality as fiction and treat fabrications as reality. People must not live in dreams!


Villains in collusion.


The “Fuck The People Daily” once again comes out to QJ the people’s intelligence.


The People’s Daily deceiving itself, what’s the point?


“People’s Daily: Internet Sentiments Do Not Completely Reflect Public Opinion” I don’t agree with this headline. The people online are people who speak the truth, while many of the people in reality are restricted/limited by their environment and unable to speak the truth. With regards to just Red Cross donations, in reality, almost all the employers in the system [government], including schools and companies have been ordered from the top to organize donations to the Red Cross. Now this is what truly does not represent the people’s will/public opinion.


The above microblog post links to the following article on Chinese web portal and news website Sina, which itself had over 27k comments and 110k participants in its comments section at time of translation, making it the second most actively discussed article (after the People’s Daily article about Hong Kong refusing to donate to Sichuan) and first most shared article of the day…

On Sina:

People’s Daily: Internet Sentiments Do Not Completely Reflect Public Opinion

[Author:] Chen Shu

People’s Daily (2013 April 30 Page 1)

After the Lushan Earthquake, the Red Cross Society of China immediately started collecting donations for disaster relief and was denounced widely on the internet.

However, according to information made public by the China Foundation Center, as of the 27th, 115 foundations/organizations throughout the country have participated in soliciting donations for Lushan Earthquake disaster relief, collecting a total of 1.049 billion RMB in donations and supplies. Amongst which, the Red Cross Society of China system received over 566 million yuan in donations and supplies, making up over 53% of the total.

This one fact shows that even though the Chinese Red Cross is suffering from a public confidence crisis, it still holds a relatively high level of credibility. [We] hope the Chinese Red Cross will cherish this social trust, and quickly establish a public, transparent, and honest system of operations, increasing its public credibility, and eliminating its negative stigma.

This one fact proves that exists between internet opinion and actual public opinion a huge difference. Therein lies something that deserves all of society’s deep consideration.

Comments on Sina:


Shameless! What they’ve obtained are not donations but the wage deductions from various companies! Do they dare make public the donations list on the internet? Let’s see how their workers respond!


You guys keep thinking taking down Guo Meimei will restore the public’s trust in you guys, but actually you guys are mistaken. Guo Meimei isn’t the key at all, the key is whether you guys can have an accountable system that you can show others and can operate under the sun [transparent]? A system whose internal operations can be understood by everyone?! Do you dare produce one! Do you dare dare bring out your financial accounting to be audited? Are you guys able to accept supervision by the public at any moment! If you can’t, then stop using Guo Meimei or whatever to whine about being innocent.

Justice088[澳大利亚Australian Capital Territory]:

Make public the 1 billion donation list, so everyone can learn and admire them.


Donate to them {two words]: Get lost!


Who wrote this? They’re asking to be cursed at! Get lost!


I donated, and it was because my employer asked that I do so, so did I have a choice? Can this demonstrate that I trust the Red Cross?


I want to tell the People’s Daily, the media only needs to make public the facts and data, and should not so easily make determinations. In the 500 million in donations is my 150 yuan, donated due to an appeal by my company. If it were according to my personal wishes, I would not donate through this channel.


Hehe, hilarious, the people won’t donate to the Red Cross, and the company donations were all forced. Then the companies simply give the money to the Red Cross, so it’s this plus the government giving money to the Red Cross. What more, add in the fact that a lot of people are still unfamiliar with the internet, only able to watch CCTV’s propaganda all day long (there are still a lot of people like this). But don’t be so quick to be happy, Red Cross, time moves forward. Slowly more and more of the people will know of your black heart [corruption]. You will only be worse by the day. This piece of news is news in opposition to the people. Intentionally supporting when the people are all against, this is going against the current.


You actually have the gall to paint Chinese-style donations as high credibility? Those who have experienced their wages being forcibly deducted raise your hands.


This is a gamble. The country throwing money at the Red Cross is to save the Red Cross, seeing if it can be turned around. That’s why [Red Cross Society of China Party Secretary and Executive Vice Chairman] Zhao Baige boasts: I will reform the Black Cross into the Red Cross within 3 years [or resign]. Zhao Baige, you need to know that the country giving you money is not something it will do every day, as only through donations can there be hope of change. However, judging by the current trend, is it possible to reform? You say: It can! I reply to you: You’re lying through your teeth.



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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