Cheng Xiaonong mentioned in an RFA article that Xi Jinping still does not seem confident enough in his power. The Buick car ad incident confirms this.
Buick, a General Motors (GM) subsidiary in the United States, recently launched a new car in China. The advertising focal point was that the car seats were very comfortable, “a seat you don’t want to get off when you sit on it.” It is considered a politically sensitive phrase in China, implying that Xi Jinping is sitting on the dragon chair and does not want to get off. Currently, news about Buick car advertising has been blocked and taken down on the Chinese internet. In addition, promotional activities of Buick dealers at the Shanghai Import and Export Expo were canceled.
The Shanghai Import and Export Expo is the first large-scale international exhibition after the CCP’s 20th National Congress. Xi Jinping gave a video speech, and Li Qiang, the new member of the Standing Committee of the General Political Bureau of the CCP, attended the opening ceremony. Li Qiang said China’s door would be more open on the new journey. Unexpectedly, Buick was excluded from the exhibition for advertising their car seats.
There were even rumors that SAIC Motors corporation’s Party committee and advertising department were censored overnight.
Twitter user Rong Jian said the Buick incident was comparable to censors removing the story of the “emperor’s new clothes” from teaching materials for children.
According to VOA, Wang Dan, the leader of the June 4 student movement, said on a live broadcast that it can be seen from the Buick car advertisement incident that Xi Jinping and his inner circle have no sense of security. Therefore, the only way for Xi to maintain his rule and power is to clean up Party affairs. After the 20th National Congress, a purge within the party is sure to happen.