Today we’re pleased to announce a new partnership with Tea Leaf Nation, a new web site dedicated to pulling insights from China’s lively microblogsphere. Their team, scattered around the world, have shared some amazing insights, offering translations, context and images, all with a touch of quirky humor. I had the pleasure of working with TLN’s founder, David Wertime, at the Personal Democracy Forum, where we presented on a panel together. Given our common research interests, we thought it would be great to join forces.
So what can you expect? We’ll be cross posting each others’ work on occasion, as relevant for our readership. Behind the scenes, we’ll also be more actively sharing news and data with each other, to keep each other abreast of our findings in China’s vast internet. And we’ll be linking much more often to each other’s content.
That said, I’m pleased to launch this partnership with a guest post from Tea Leaf Nation’s Liz Carter, who looked at the Shifang cop, who got memed into the most unexpected places….
Police and protesters faced off in Shifang earlier this week, and pictures taken by locals caught many of the police in the act of beating people. One police officer in particular has become the subject of a “human flesh search”–the Chinese term for a coordinated effort by netizens to discover as much information as possible about someone. His name is Liu Bo, but netizens have taken to calling him the fat police officer.
Barely a week has since passed, but Liu has already been spotted in Chinese social media chasing after Olympic sprinter Liu Xiang, practicing kung fu in a Jackie Chan movie, and showing off his moves on a soccer field. We can only guess where he may turn up next. Thanks to Weibo user @半杯浓茶 for collecting the below images.