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Reports: Anti-graft fight is the hottest online topic

Cao Yin
Updated: Dec 26,2014 7:34 AM     China Daily

The fight against corruption has become the hottest online topic this year in China, according to reports released on Dec 25 by several cyberspace opinion research centers.

Anti-graft campaigns conducted by disciplinary authorities have been speeded up since the start of the year.

These have triggered widespread public attention and demonstrated the leadership’s determination to build an anti-corruption system, according to a report from the internet Media Research Center.

Information on trials involving officials who have been investigated-and their sentences-frequently stirs heated discussion on the internet, said Hua Qing, deputy director of the center.

Zhu Huaxin, secretary-general of the Department of Public Opinion Monitoring on people.com.cn, said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s website has played a key role in pushing the anti-graft issue online.

“The commission has taken the initiative to inspect officials and post related information publicly since its website opened in September 2013,” Zhu said.

Zhu and his team select key issues from micro blog platforms, online forums and mainstream media every day.

Major cases involving corrupt officials, such as former energy chief Liu Tienan, drew instant public attention and news of his sentence went viral online, according to a report by Zhu’s team.

Liu, 60, was sentenced to life imprisonment for bribery earlier this month by a court in Hebei province.

It found Liu guilty of receiving bribes worth 35.5 million yuan ($5.8 million) between 2002 and 2012, when he was a department chief and later vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation’s top economic planner.

After the case of Zhou Yongkang, former top security chief, was exposed on July 30, discussion appeared on 1.33 million micro blogs related to it, the report said.

Li Weining, an analyst at the internet Information Research Institute at Communication University of China, said the anti-graft campaign and related news were the hottest items online this year.

The institute, which has more than 100 employees and was established in 2008, monitors website home pages, WeChat, micro blogs and smartphone apps every day and then places popular topics on a database.

“We can collect at least 5,000 topics a year, and we’ll select and analyze the hotter ones from among them,” Li said.

Shen Yang, an analyst and professor at Tsinghua University who specializes in communications, welcomed the government publishing information on anti-graft initiatives, saying that official disclosures can reduce rumors.

“In other words, if we can fight against corruption effectively in reality, online reports or tipoffs will be reduced,” Shen said, suggesting that disciplinary authorities handling graft cases verify online reports quickly.

In this way, internet users will also learn self-discipline in posting online, he added.

Anti-terrorism measures, the rule of law and cybersecurity have also been hot issues this year, sparking heated online discussion.

TOP 10 ONLINE NEWS ISSUES IN 2014

Corruption fight

Key graft cases shocked the public this year as the top disciplinary authority took initiatives to expose corrupt officials.

Deepening reform

Reforms in various areas, including household registration and college entrance examinations, have begun this year.

Rule of law

This became a hot catchphrase after the Fourth Plenum of 18th CPC Central Committee vowed to boost the rule of law.

New normal

This conveys the idea that China needs to focus on the quality of its economic development and adapt to a new situation.

China’s diplomacy

The APEC meetings were held successfully in Beijing, showcasing China’s voice on the international stage and enhancing national pride.

Anti-terrorism

Chinese people agreed on the need to fight terrorism after a series of attacks in the country this year.

Missing Flight MH370

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with more than 150 Chinese on board, disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Its fate is unknown.

Occupy Central

An illegal campaign that has inflicted great damage on the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Convictions overturned

Several defendants were declared innocent this year due to insufficient evidence, improving the country’s judicial credibility and the rule of law.

Cyberspace governance

A group to lead and coordinate internet security and informatization work was set up in February, led by President Xi Jinping.

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