China censors images of people without masks at the World Cup

Amidst the growing wave of protests in China against the covid zero, Chinese state television is censoring images of people without masks at the World Cup. In recent days, thousands of people have taken to the streets against the harsh rules of social confinement and calling for the resignation of Xi Jinping, the dictator reappointed for a third term in October. On Sunday the 27th, there was a concentration of countless people in Beijing and Shanghai.

To avoid even more public indignation, the CCTV channel systematically replaced, in the broadcast of the match between Japan and Costa Rica, the images in which people sitting very close to each other appeared, with photos of players or photos of the public taken far enough away so that the faces could not be identified and the absence verified of masks.

On the internet, however, it is possible to see the transmission without censorship, even on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok. China is the last major world economy that continues to apply a tough strategy against the coronavirus, called covid zero, which involves confinement of neighborhoods and entire cities, quarantine periods and mass testing.

In recent days, an open letter was widely shared on the WeChat messaging network, which questioned whether China is “on the same planet” as Qatar and criticized the Chinese government’s health policy. A letter that, however, ended up being censored by the authorities.

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