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The Internet has been a boon for car enthusiasts; after all, information about any car ever made is available at a few taps of the keyboard, whenever you'd like. Unfortunately, some Chinese motor heads are not quite as lucky because state censors have been intermittently banning searches for Ferrari on the country's micro-blogging sites, according to Time.

The problem has nothing to do with Maranello's supercars; it's what they represent. The Prancing Horse has become the symbol for so-called "princelings," wealthy young Chinese who use their parents' privileges in the Communist elite to afford luxuries.

The first bout of censorship came in 2011 when the son of then-high-ranking politician Bo Xilai was spotted cruising around Beijing in a red Ferrari, a vehicle much more expensive than he should have been able to afford. It started trending on Chinese social media, and censors began blocking searches for Ferrari in the car's red color. The Italian brand was censored again briefly in 2012 when a Chinese investor crashed his Prancing Horse into two other cars in Singapore.

It happened again in 2012 when the son of a top Communist party official was killed when he crashed his black Ferrari in Beijing. The crash was barely covered in state media but became such a hot topic on social networks for Ferrari to be banned again.

There was another, fatal Ferrari crash in Beijing on February 13. As before, it trended on social media, but this time there was no censorship. Maybe Chinese Ferrari fans are finally free to search for Maranello's best with impunity...


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  • 29 Comments
      Cruising
      • 11 Months Ago
      " The Master said, “Wealth and honor are things that all people desire, and yet unless they are acquired in the proper way I will not abide them. Poverty and disgrace are things that all people hate, and yet unless they are avoided in the proper way I will not despise them." Confucius
        AcidTonic
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Cruising
        Feels like there's a double negative in there or something could be simplified....
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 11 Months Ago
      Don't want the serfs, I mean slaves, I mean workers to find out what they are driving costs I guess.
      Stinkyboy
      • 11 Months Ago
      I wanna go snorkling
      ken
      • 11 Months Ago
      To give it perspective: the vice premier of China is officially earning about $23,000 USD per year.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 11 Months Ago
      So how does this whole censoring thing work anyway? Does the average Chinese know their web experience is being censored? Do they just get a "no results found" type thing or does it say "your search contains banned words"?
        McLaden
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        i am a Chinese and i can tell you exactly how it works. well, for the main media you wont see a single word about the crash events or whatever, because the editors of those media are well informed before they post anything. but for those so-called self-media like u and me,normal people who use weibo( chinese version of twitter) would post those events almost in no time and they will be spread out before the website can respond and set the filter. so it's really a matter of how fast of those sites can respond.
        Big Rocket
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        This was covered in the PBS Frontline program "Tank Man", and I verified it for myself when I was in China on a business trip. As an example, when you use Google.com to do an image search for "Tiananmen Square", the very first hits are images of a column of tanks stopped in front of a lone protester. But, when you are in China, and you do the same search in Google.cn, you will get a very different set of hits. You wouldn't get any warning at all, to give the illusion nothing special is going on. As a side note, while I was typing up this post, I tried to go back to Google.cn to double check what I wrote above, but was redirected to Google.com.hk, which is a less restrictive Hong Kong version of Google. I guess Google does not want Americans to find out they are aiding and abetting a foreign government in suppressing basic human rights.
          Big Rocket
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Big Rocket
          After a bit more research -- on Google.com, somewhat ironically -- I found out Google decided they didn't want to collude with the Chinese government anymore, shut down Google.cn, and redirected all Google.cn visitors to Google.com.hk. It's not often big corporations do the right thing at the expense of profits, and Google earned my respect. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/23/technology/23google.html
      Big Rocket
      • 11 Months Ago
      I feel like this Autoblog article is a must-read for all those who complain about the wealth gap in America, and who propose a Marxist ideology as a solution to reduce the wealth gap.
        Big Rocket
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Big Rocket
        @juststudent, Rob J: The link below explains better than I can what I mean by those who propose a Marxist ideology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm#Plot_summary
        Technoir
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Big Rocket
        I haven't read of anyone in the U.S. who came up with "Marxist" solutions. Maybe the communist party of America, but that has around 10 members.
          rlog100
          • 11 Months Ago
          @Technoir
          I know Democrats are unpopular these days, but geez.....
      Koenigsegg
      • 11 Months Ago
      i thought chinese people were smart
      Claire
      • 11 Months Ago
      A good example, among many more, of why communism is bad for the country. It's understandable why the people are upset but I guess too much information in the hands of the people might create problems for the government. www.doitgo.com
      IBx27
      • 11 Months Ago
      Just make Ferrari's manual again; problem solved.
      chevymike7
      • 11 Months Ago
      GE is Moving from Wisconsin. Keep your eye on Waukesha , Wisconsin ......Their biggest employer just moved out. General Electric is planning to move its 115-year-old X-ray division from Waukesha, Wis., toBeijing. In addition to moving the headquarters, the company will invest $2 billion in China and train more than 65 engineers and create six research centers. This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year, but paid no taxes - the same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the United States . So let me get this straight. President Obama appointed GE Chairman Jeff Immelt to head his commission on job creation (job czar). Immelt is supposed to help create jobs. I guess the President forgot to tell him in which country he was supposed to be creating those jobs. Thanks Jeff, you're a "real" American.... and give Obama our Best! If this doesn't show you the total lack of leadership of this President, I don't know what does. Please pass this information to others and think about it before you buy a GE product.
        larry
        • 11 Months Ago
        @chevymike7
        You can thank Barack Obama for General Electric moveing to Bejing. Obama gave his good buddy and CEO of General Electric, billions of American taxpayer dollars in stimulus money, then they moved to China.
        merlot066
        • 11 Months Ago
        @chevymike7
        GE was insourcing manufacturing jobs during Bush's second term. GE's decision to move its X-ray division to China is due not only to Obama's economic policies, but the healthcare legislation which bears his name. GE was also the last remaining company to produce incandescent light bulbs in America and was forced to close its factory after Obama set a ban on incandescent bulbs. GE can't build CFL and LED lights in America at a competitive price so now just about all the light bulbs we buy are assembled outside the United States. Most of the other big healthcare companies have already opened up factories in China and India. Instead of boycotting the companies who are trying to keep millions of Americans employed, you should think about voting out the people who are forcing millions of Americans out of their jobs.
      jbfabrica
      • 11 Months Ago
      They wreck them because they have trouble reaching the pedals. Kidding.
      Randy915
      • 11 Months Ago
      That statement about princelings is quite racist and ignorant. You can just say "rich people" instead of bringing in Communism and parent's money into the mix.
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