Why rice bunnies are popping up on China's social media

China's 'MeToo' movement the latest to deploy emojis and homonyms in running battle to evade censors

As China's "MeToo" movement gathers steam, individuals and media platforms are pushing at the boundaries of what is allowed on the country's tightly controlled Internet by finding ways around censorship to allow activists to mobilise support.

Over the past two weeks, dozens of people have taken to China's Twitter-like platform, Weibo, to publish stories of sexual harassment by Beijing's top literati and leaders of non-governmental organisations. Although no prominent official has yet been publicly accused, regulators have taken a cautious approach, as with all public incidents that can spark mass expressions of discontent.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Why rice bunnies are popping up on China's social media'. Print Edition | Subscribe