During a recent decline in the stock market causing Chinese stocks to reach a five-year low, the state media remains overly positive about the economy, and the online environment is restricted with warnings from the Ministry of State Security against economic negativity. As a result, worried Chinese investors have turned to an unexpected platform to voice their apprehensions – the comments section of a U.S. Embassy Weibo post about giraffes.
The article, published on Friday on the verified Weibo page of the U.S. Embassy in China, addressed the observations of researchers.
Utilizing satellite information to observe and supervise the locomotion of giraffes.
The post originally focused on finding suitable habitats for long-necked ruminants, but the comments quickly turned into a discussion about the Chinese economy and recent turmoil in its stock and bond markets. Many Weibo users joined in to joke, complain, or sympathize. Some even asked the U.S. Embassy for help in rescuing the Chinese stock market, investing in the American stock market, or emigrating to the U.S. This is not the first time people have made requests to the embassy in this manner. For example, when protestors in Henan were attacked by unknown individuals in 2022, the embassy’s Weibo replies were flooded with requests for American journalists to be “deployed” to the scene.
The situation was a typical illustration of the consequences when online users quickly and aggressively attack a particular topic or issue, known as “rushing the tower” (冲塔 in Chinese). chōng tǎ
“Rush the tower” is a term coined by fans of League of Legends that is now used to describe intentional postings of political satire or sensitive material on the internet, even though the posters are aware that their content may be removed by platform moderators and their social media accounts could be suspended or terminated. For further details on this and other Chinese internet slang terms, please refer to [insert source].The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Living”
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In addition to Weibo and other social media platforms, individuals shared images of a recent headline from People’s Daily that stated, to the surprise of many, “There is a Positive Atmosphere Across the Nation.” The article was met with sarcasm and by Friday evening, the hashtag #There Is an Atmosphere of Optimism Throughout the Country# had been censored on Weibo.
Josh Xiao and Jing Li from Bloomberg discussed how dissatisfied investors shared their views on the internet.:
On social media platforms in China that are heavily censored, investors shared the headline of the article from People’s Daily […]. These posts appeared to be a cynical commentary, highlighting the discrepancy between the optimistic message and their own financial situation.
Online users flooded the comment section of the most recent Weibo post from the US embassy in China regarding giraffe conservation to express their anger. One individual wrote, “I cannot stand when everyone is struggling and they still talk about being positive. Show some decency.”
Some individuals shared graphics illustrating the decline of the Shanghai index alongside a image of the article from People’s Daily, highlighting the contrasting tones between positive state media coverage and the negative market outlook.
“The commoners in China have such a bitter plight,” one person wrote on Weibo. “Those in power are high and mighty, and pay no regard to the life or death of commoners.”
One investor expressed their disappointment by stating, “My feelings towards the country have changed since I began investing in the stock market.”Source]
The CDT editors have gathered over 20,000 pieces of feedback.
Comments from certain Weibo users.
From the giraffe post below, a portion of it has been translated and is shown in the accompanying screenshots:
_石大虾：200 million A-share investors beg that they and their families be allowed to become American citizens!
Mr. A Laji: Instead of directly robbing us, they chose to give us a small portion of stock.
烈酒在喉: If the stock market is bad, no matter, you can choose not to invest. But what’s inhuman is when they keep publishing news that talks up the market, fooling people into investing in it, and then the market crashes.
“Jinli transforms into dragon 555: Please save A-shares [row of candle emojis]”
AndrewZWW: This section is full of optimistic, future-oriented, joyful, and peaceful holiday vibes.
阿发浪迹天涯: If there’s any room for me in lovely America, please just say the word.
上没苏杭下没天堂: I’ve heard it said that Wall Street opinion on A-shares is divided. On one side are the conservatives, who think that A-shares are a fraudulent market. On the other side are the radicals, who think that the conservatives are too conservative in their opinion.
Walking on the street watching passersby: The [People’s Daily] article discusses peace and harmony, but does not try to understand the reality by interacting with the people.
I admire the level of freedom in your country. The ability for individuals to openly express criticism towards the government helps to progress the nation and enhance the well-being of its citizens. It is a well-structured system, even though it may appear chaotic and divisive. This chaos is representative of human behavior and what a society should strive for – a lively atmosphere that encourages the emergence of fresh ideas and approaches. However, in our country, the voices of the people are silenced and negative opinions are prohibited, while the government constantly promotes itself. It is a miserable situation.
As a simple commoner, I must say that American shareholders are incredibly fortunate!
苦中作乐-123: The China Securities Regulatory Commission doesn’t even dare to comment. What are they so afraid of?
When will Myanmar A be officially named? You can access the “American Stock Connect” (美股通, မြန်မာAလေးရှာဖွေပါ) on the [Apple app].Měi gǔ tōng
I am eager to put my money into the American stock market.
User Xiong Youming5098: I am too afraid to even give these comments a “like”!
突破时机: 200 million shareholders, the voices of more than 600 million people
Farosh: I haven’t seen so many normal people [online] in a long time.