Straight out of the ‘Proof They’ll Censor Anything In China’ file is news that the country is restricting access to information about the weather.
Yes, that’s right. The powers in charge of what China can see online have decreed that certain measurements of the quality of air — which are recorded by the US Embassy, for what it’s worth — are unsuitable (read: too horrifying) for the eyes of those living in the country. That makes for a rather amusing and very obvious data hole in the popular air quality app, as a number of people in China noted on Twitter. (Which, of course, is also subject to restrictions from The Great Firewall.)
In a nice touch, the censorship messages were shown in both English and Chinese, once again highlighting the fact that the information was withheld.
This particular act of information smothering is almost certainly related to the fact that China is hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing right now. Thus the government is keen to give as little publicity as possible to the smog that inhabits its capital city. Guess that plan isn’t working out too well right now.
When President Xi said the smog was his “top priority” during the APEC Summit, we hope that pretending it doesn’t exist wasn’t his only solution.