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South China Morning Post and its social accounts blocked in mainland China due to opinion piece

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By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

March 11, 2016 | 2 min read

Earlier this week Alibaba-owned and Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post found its website and social media profiles on sites such as Sina Weibo and WeChat were blocked in mainland China.

It’s not unusual for the Chinese government to enforce blocks on media and it’s not often clear the reason why or what caused it. Quartz says that the recent block was caused by an opinion piece from former editor in chief Wang Xiangwei headlined, ‘Leftists die hard, but Xi Jinping’s blessing for China’s private sector has positive message for economy’.

This hasn’t been confirmed by the author or the paper but Quartz spoke to experts that believe the suggestions in the piece may have angered China because it links Xi Jinping and Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba bought the South China Morning Post in 2015 and faced criticism that the paper would be leaned on by the corporate, something it was quick to deny.

"In reporting the news, the SCMP will be objective, accurate and fair. This means having the courage to go against conventional wisdom, and taking care to verify stories, check sources and seek all viewpoints. These day-to-day editorial decisions will be driven by editors in the newsroom, not in the corporate boardroom, “ said Joeph C. Tsai, executive vice chairman of the Alibaba Group, at the time.

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