Since 2003 China Digital Times has been tracking Internet culture in China and aggregating content that has been censored or blocked in Chinese cyberspace. In the latest Asia Digital Life podcast, host Patrick Sharbaugh talks with CDT translations editor Anne Henochowicz about Chinese netizens’ use of homonyms, memes, and satire to tweak censors and why a brand of instant noodles there has become a proxy for talking about political corruption.
“Sometimes I get discouraged, especially in recent months as Internet censorship has tightened in China. But Chinese netizens keep finding new ways to get their point across, often with humor and innuendo. I find myself laughing out loud at work a lot. How could you not when you see a toad in thick black glasses? Netizens come up with ingenious, hilarious word plays and memes to exercise their right to speak freely. I feel honored to be able to communicate a fraction of that ingenuity to English readers.”