China has maintained a strict “zero-COVID” policy since the pandemic began three years ago. But it also knows well that it’s going against the global trend of easing lockdowns and returning to normalcy. That’s why it has also been trying to censor information from the outside world, showing this. 

For example, as protests against zero-COVID are growing, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is censoring ongoing World Cup matches broadcasts to leave out the video of fans not wearing masks.

Bill Birtles of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has spotted the delicate censoring.  

In a video, Birtles shows a comparison between the FIFA broadcast and the Chinese version of the broadcast on two side-by-side laptops. It is the match between Croatia and Canada on Sunday, November 27. The regular FIFA broadcast shows fans without masks cheering after a goal is scored, while the Chinese broadcast only shows coaches and players on the field. 

Birtles notices that the CCTV feed is 32 seconds behind, which gives the broadcast plenty of time to filter and censor. 

Mark Drey—China Sports Insider founder—an expert in China’s fast-growing sports industry, also noticed the difference. 

Many Chinese residents have had to stay home for the past three months due to COVID lockdowns. Last week, a fire broke out in a Chinese building under lockdown, killing 10 people. What’s noted is that the building on fire has a low risk for COVID. Other unofficial reports put the number of dead at 44. Reportedly the residents were locked in and could not escape.

The incident sparked a series of protests in China. 

In several places in China, COVID tests must be done every day. Yet, as the number of cases rises, CCP leader Xi Jinping still sticks to “zero-COVID.” 

Last week, protests broke out in various parts of China. The CCP sent out police to pepper spray the protesters.

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