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This week’s featured phrase is “Driving in Reverse” (开倒车, kāidàochē).
This week's featured phrase is "Driving in Reverse" (开倒车, kāidàochē).

This week’s featured phrase is “Driving in Reverse” (开倒车, kāidàochē).

This week,

In 2016, an article from People’s Daily made a prediction that China would become a “high-income” country by 2024. This article was recently reposted and gained a lot of attention online, with many sarcastic comments being shared. 现已从人民日报在线删除

It has now been removed from People’s Daily Online.. One such comment was posted by Weibo user @Wngjil908981589, who wrote: “Eight years ago, the People’s Daily couldn’t have known that the ‘driving-in-reverse Emperor

I would quickly shift the car into reverse and press the accelerator.


The phrases “driving in reverse” and “driving-in-reverse Emperor” are often used mockingly to criticize Xi Jinping’s rule in China, especially when referring to outdated, oppressive policies. From 2020 to 2022, these terms were frequently used online to condemn the harsh measures of China’s “zero-COVID” policy, such as prolonged border closures, strict city-wide lockdowns, shortages of essential goods, and censorship of discussions about the pandemic. Following the end of the “zero-COVID” policy, “driving in reverse” has also been employed to criticize the government’s handling of the economy, particularly in light of recent events.
stock-, property-, and employment-market woes. 

The newly published

The 20th Anniversary Edition of the China Digital Times Lexicon.

The following provides a more comprehensive definition of “driving in reverse.” The complete lexicon entry is included below:

driving in reverse (开倒车, kāidàochē)

The phrase is a mocking comparison that criticizes Xi Jinping’s leadership of China, seen by those who use it as moving backwards or making the wrong choices, especially with its increasing focus on Xi as the sole and long-lasting leader.

The phrase “driving in reverse” became popular due to various viral online incidents. One such incident occurred in June 2016 when People’s Daily shared a video on Weibo of a Volkswagen Tiguan reversing down a ramp and falling off a ledge. The post included a cautionary message stating, “Driving in reverse requires advanced technical skills!” This incident sparked discussions among Weibo users.

Gathered in the section for comments.

Drawing comparisons to Xi Jinping’s leadership, the warning is to avoid regressing and risking a harsh outcome, requiring resignation. One user summarized this as “The correct solution is for backward drivers to step down!”


In November of 2018, it was disclosed that the video platform Bilibili was…

Disabling the option to leave comments on any videos shown in search results for the topic of “driving in reverse.”

This rule applies to comments left on videos that are not related to politics or that contain the phrase “driving in reverse” in the title or description. It also applies to comments from usernames that include the phrase. A customer service representative explained that the ban was put in place because the phrase “touches on sensitive topics” when a netizen inquired about the reasons for the rule.

3.2% growth

In the year 2020, there was a 3.2% increase reported by People’s Daily.videoThe master of backing up a car! Can you do it?”

A video was posted on Twitter showing a man skillfully reversing a car over a bridge made of two thin logs, along with the caption: “Are you able to do this too?” Some viewers speculated that the video was intentionally reversed, as the people in the background seemed to be moving backwards. It is unclear if this was intentional or not. In the comments, netizens joked: “Looks like he’s the expert at backing up a car! Can you do it?”

Xi is the driver who holds the position of Chairman.

He was given the nickname “Accelerator-in-Chief” (see entry) and the “Driving-in-Reverse Emperor.”

This term refers to Deng Xiaoping’s policies of “Reform and Opening”.

During Xi Jinping’s leadership, experts have suggested that China is being guided in a different direction from the one established by Deng. This is due to Xi’s distinct objectives for development and China’s separation from Western nations. The economy’s decreased pace, in contrast to the rapid growth seen before Xi’s tenure, has led many detractors to perceive his leadership as regressive.

During the spring of 2022, a leaked audio recording surfaced amidst China’s strict zero-COVID policy and the prolonged lockdown of Shanghai.being unfairly enforced

A conversation on the phone between a community leader and a man from Shanghai, where the latter expressed frustration about the lockdown, was extensively circulated on Chinese social media. However, it was later removed from these platforms. The man openly shared his worries about the unjust implementation of the lockdown.

potentially undoing years of economic advancement:

Since the implementation of reform and opening policies in 1979, we have spent 40 years striving for financial stability. However, the recent hardships have drastically affected our progress. And now, there are plans to continue this struggle for another month? The process of developing a city is not simple – establishing its systems, customs, compassion, culture, and economy is no easy task. It has taken generations to achieve this progress. If we continue to pursue destruction, it is highly likely that it will be destroyed by the end of the year. While the rest of the world is moving forward at a rapid pace, resuming manufacturing and returning to normalcy, we are regressing. We have put our efforts in reverse and are accelerating backwards.

See also “

The Yangtze and Yellow River will not reverse their direction of flow (refer to entry).