"Xi Who Must Not Be Named": Ordinary Chinese Are Increasingly Afraid To Talk About Their Leader | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

"Xi Who Must Not Be Named": Ordinary Chinese Are Increasingly Afraid To Talk About Their Leader

It's a dynamic familiar to fans of the Harry Potter franchise: a villain so powerful that ordinary people fear to even mutter his name aloud. In Harry Potter world, characters use phrases like "You Know Who" to reference the series arch-villain, Voldemort. But in China (where Harry Potter is, unsurprisingly, banned), ordinary citizens (even those who genuinely support the CCP) are afraid to utter the name of President Xi Jinping, the most powerful Chinese leader since Chairman Mao.

Earlier this month, Meituan CEO Wang Xing posted a classic ninth-century poem mocking an ancient Chinese emperor. While Wang insisted the poem was an oblique jab at the company's competitors, too many people interpreted it as a jab at China's leadership. Meituan's stock subsequently slumped, wiping $2.5 billion off Wang's net worth. The company, China's largest food-delivery app, has since been caught up in the CCP's anti-trust crackdown.

Even at pro-Beijing media outlets and private gatherings of pro-government diplomats and executives, people take excessive precautions as soon as discussions veer toward the politically sensitive. In conversation, Chinese citizens use phrases like "you know who," "big number one" and our "eldest brother" or "big uncle" to reference Xi.

Others insist on turning off their mobile phones when the subject of Chinese politics arises.

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