From The New York Times
By Paul Mozur
As China tries to reshape the narrative of its fumbled response to the coronavirus outbreak, it is turning to a new breed of police that carry out real-world reprisals for digital misdeeds...
The experience mirrored what happened to the hero of Mr. Li’s essay, a Wuhan doctor named Li Wenliang, who tried to alert colleagues about the spread of a mysterious virus in a chat group, only to be called to a police station and forced to sign a confession for spreading rumors.
When Dr. Li died of the coronavirus, waves of mourning and anger swept across China’s internet...
“One reason for the online outrage after Li Wenliang’s death was because people know that what he encountered is just a normal Chinese person’s experience,” said Xiao Qiang, a research scientist at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. “It’s not the local police’s fault. It’s Xi’s error that this kind of thing has become a part of daily life.”
Xiao Qiang is the founder and editor-in-chief of the China Digital Times and a research scientist at the School of Information.