The very popular Chinese application Xiaohongshu, usually followed by fourteen million people, had its account blocked on Monday, June 7, on the social network Weibo for daring to ask on Friday. ” What day is it ? “, during the 32e anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Friday coincided with June 4, a taboo date in China since the bloody crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protests on June 4, 1989 in the immense Tiananmen Square in Beijing, which claimed hundreds if not more. ‘a thousand, dead. The Communist regime never apologized for its decisions at the time. For thirty-two years, Beijing has on the contrary tried to erase the memory of the repression and many young people have, at best, only a vague idea of the events.
Xiaohongshu, a platform where internet users can exchange shopping or travel advice, posted a message on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, on Friday, saying “Can someone noisily remind me what day it is today?” “. It is not certain that the message necessarily meant to refer to the events of Tiananmen: in the past, Xiaohongshu broadcast similar messages on Friday, alluding to the approach of the weekend.
Any commemoration of June 4 is prohibited
Xiaohongshu’s account was not available on Weibo on Monday. Instead, subscribers could read that the account had been deleted “Following complaints about violations of the law and regulations”. Xiaohongshu was not available to comment on this information. The application, whose name evokes the famous “Little Red Book” of former Chairman Mao Zedong (1949-1976), has more than three hundred million users.
On Friday, users of the hugely popular WeChat app could no longer use the lit candle emoticon, a symbol that could be seen as a tribute to the victims of the Tiananmen Massacre. Any commemoration of June 4 is prohibited in China, and the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong was, until last year, the only place in China where it was tolerated.
But following the takeover of the former British colony by Beijing, the vigil organized every year in a city park could not be held on Friday evening. Some Hong Kong residents, however, have found other ways to celebrate the anniversary by lighting candles in the streets or at windows, or even using the flashlight on their cell phones.