You Can’t Read This in China


Aren’t these the cutest little creatures?  They look like two little characters created to remind kids not to take candy from strange men in trench coats who lurk in white vans near schools.  Except that in reality they’re for something even better.

It turns out that these two characters-Jing Jing and Cha Cha (a play on the Chinese word for policeman: JingCha)-were actually created by the Shenzen cops to remind you that they’re watching as you surf the web.  Don’t say Tiananmen ’89 or Falun Gong or else Jing Jing and Cha Cha will offer you an all expenses paid 10 year vacation to the salt mines.

I don’t think anything shows this better than if you go to and look up photos of Tianenmen square vs. trying it at

Wen sent me a great NY Times magazine article here (read fast-it’s about to be charged for).  More info here.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

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