A boxer named Xu Xiaodong was completely blocked on the internet after disclosing the dark side of Chinese martial arts. What’s the reason that forced him to disappear so fast?
“My Weibo has been blocked eight times and my Tiktok has been blocked three times. I wanted to log on to Tiktok to start a live video session. But before talking, I was sent an alert informing that my account was suspected of violating the rules, so I cannot continue to stream live.” Xu Xiaodong was quite furious after he was blocked on all Chinese websites. He complained on his YouTube channel, “I wonder why they always block me”.
Xu Xiaodong is a 40 years old boxer who practices MMA in Beijing. He makes a living by teaching students. But over the past three years, he has challenged many Chinese martial arts learners who claim they are traditional Chinese martial arts masters. After beating Tai Chi master Lei Lei in 13 seconds in 2017, he has undoubtedly become an internet celebrity in China. Since then, he has become active on the internet, receiving interviews from many media outlets and starting his own “We Media channel” where he often expresses his opinions in the field of martial arts. Soon, however, no-one can find him on the internet in China.
“From Lei Lei to all the Tai Chi martial arts masters, I successfully exposed them, they are all cheaters. Now they don’t get any punishment from the government, while I was punished and I can’t even upload my videos in China,”. Now, Xu’s “we media” programs have been transferred to YouTube, a platform that Chinese people cannot watch. “I just said a few swear words on the internet. Many other people have said swear words too. Why is it just me that gets blocked? It’s unfair”. Xu said.
Chen Xiaowang is a seventy-five years old TaiChi master who is very famous in the Chinese TaiChi community. Being banned from Xu Xiaodong in China was related to a lawsuit with Chen Xiaowang. Chen Xiaowang ever battled with a fitness athlete on a Hunan TV program in 2013, where the fitness athlete cannot push him away at all. Finally, Chen won the competition.
However, later on, the athlete said on Weibo (a Chinese social media) that the result of the competition is fake. He admitted the competition was just a show to publicize TaiChi. After that, Xu questioned Chen’s ability on the internet, calling him a liar. Chen sued Xu based on him infringing his reputation right, asking for a public apology. Finally, the court sided with Chen and asked Xu to apologize to Chen. Soon, Xu was gradually blocked on the internet until no-one could search for him online.
Leonard is a commentator on his personal YouTube channel, where he often gives his personal views on current events. He said “There are a lot of people speaking bad languages on the internet. Using some swear words in videos doesn’t mean they will be blocked at the highest level by the authority.” He added, “What Xu offended is the Chinese Wushu Association (CWA).”
There is a sentence to describe CWA on the Chinese official website ‘To build up the people’s health and carry forward China’s cultural heritage, the Chinese Wushu Association wants to make an effort to promote the traditional martial arts of Wushu, both at home and abroad.’ However, the reality is much more than this. “The Wushu Association has interests in many competition organizers and Wushu schools”. Leonard said. “WuShu” is the transliteration of “Chinese martial arts”. People usually use “Wushu” to describe Chinese fighting skills.
“In domestic fighting competitions, only half of which has not prearranged results.”Xu exposed the chaotic phenomenon of Chinese fighting competitions on a Chinese TV show. He revealed that many competition organizers in China will exaggerate the advertising to attract people’s attention. They often persuade some Japanese overseas students to fake Japanese boxing champions. To some extent, many Chinese people dislike Japanese people (Japan invaded China in WW2), therefore many people prefer to see the story where Chinese boxers knock down Japanese. “The organizers will give the Japanese some money after the Chinese fighter wins the fight”. Leonard added.
“These events are not only related to commercially sponsored benefits but also some sales of broadcasting rights, even some gambling involved. Once the scandals were disclosed and investigated, how many CWA officials will be involved?” Leonard expressed some seriousness when saying “Xu unraveled the benefits to the entire Chinese martial art industry.”
On the other hand, Xu Xiaodong is blocked by the government on the internet, which is related to China’s internet censorship. Today, internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) affects both publishing and viewing online material. As of 2019, more than sixty online restrictions had been created by the Chinese government and provincial branches of state-owned ISPs, companies and organizations.
Xu’s block might be related to the nationalist sentiment in China. After the video of questioning Tai Chi was released, many citizens accused him of betraying Chinese culture, calling him a “traitor”. “I just travelled to America for a holiday, I became a spy. I just accepted the interview from one Taiwan media outlet and the BBC, I became a traitor”. Xu talked whilst crying during a YouTube webcast, “I just exposed the dark facts in traditional Chinese culture. Why did I become a spy?”
The Chinese culture has been a controversial topic for a long time in China. Many people believe that traditional Chinese culture should be completely abandoned, while others believe that Western thoughts and culture should not be allowed to invade China. “History and reality both show that a nation that abandons or betrays its history and culture is unlikely to develop and is likely to stage one historical tragedy,” President Xi said in the second Session of the 13th national Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in 2018.
The Chinese government legislated the Law of Protection of Heroes and Martyrs in 2018, stating that citizens who criticize or slander Chinese heroes and martyrs must be held legally responsible. The Chinese Communist Party’s protection to traditional culture and nationalism is obvious.
But no matter for what reason, Xu was blocked by China’s entire network is already a fact. Until June 22, 2020, the three Chinese Characters “Xu Xiaodong” have been completely blocked on the internet in China. No-one will see any result when searching these characters.
Any news about him has been deleted by the Chinese government. The most recent person who received the end level block is Hao Haidong, a very famous football player in China, who publicly resisted CCP and uploaded a video where he announced to establish a new China on 04, 06,2020.
“In a way, being blocked is a good thing, which proves that Xu still has a lot of people supporting him in China.” Qiu is one of Xu’s supporters. “I will continue to support Brother Dong in the future,” he has enough confidence to Xu Xiaodong.
Now Xu is banned in China, while he still has many followers on YouTube and Twitter. Up to now, many people were blocked in China because their speeches or behaviors violated the will and the benefit of the nation, or rather, the will of the Chinese government. How long will the policy continue? Nobody knows. When talking about what time he will come back to public eyesights, Xu showed very cautiously,“ Let’s play by ear.”, he said.