Tuesday, 23 November 2010
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Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize: Early Reactions on Twitter
October 11, 2010

Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize and Chinese Twitter users are in a pretty celebratory mood.


Liu Xiaobo (chinageeks.org)

Photo credit: ChinaGeeks


Sitting in a jail cell in Northern China, he has no way of knowing this, but the ceremony – which was broadcast live on the internet and wasn’t blocked in China – is over. The announcement quickly became a trending topic on Twitter and Sina Weibo, although at the moment it appears to have been deleted from Sina Weibo. Most Chinese news portals have deleted their coverage of the prize this year, and text messages with the name “Liu Xiaobo” in Chinese are being blocked over China mobile phones, at least in Beijing.

Below are some translated reactions:


Fang Zhenghu:

Congratulations to Liu Xiaobo for winning the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize!


Michael Anti:

Today, many people’s first reaction [to the news] was to cry. RT @yimaobuba: I’m crying in an airport lounge in Sydney.


Michael Anti:

Friends in Tokyo, tonight the drinks are on me! Please call me at 08032028778, we’ll drink until I don’t care whether I’m bankrupt or not.



[quoting Sun Yat-sen:] Global trends are vast and powerful. Those who follow prosper, those who resist die off.


Zhi Yongxu:

Long Live Freedom!


Wang Zhongxia:

Norway is badass [牛逼], I’m crying in the car right now [on the way to visit Liu Xiaobo's wife].

Shifeike [being retweeted by lots of people on Twitter and Sina Weibo]:

Are there brothers in Shanghai? Let’s have a banquet! This is the invitation, we’ll meet in the People’s Square.


Liu Xiaoyuan:

I bet some officials are regretting it now. Perhaps they’re thinking, if we hadn’t given Liu Xiaobo a harsh sentence, would the Nobel Peace Prize still have come to China?



Heading out, breaking my vow to abstain and having a drink! [Note: I am assuming this is in response to the news, but am not 100% sure]



I…am…so…thankful…to…Chinese…twitterers…let’s go out….the meal is my treat…



Update: people are setting off firecrackers [in celebration] at Peking University!



Seething with excitement, everywhere is seething with excitement. It’s just that a big group of idiots don’t know what’s happened. It really makes you fucking feel for them…



Really, I don’t dare to believe it’s true!


Ai Weiwei:

Tell your friends, family and classmates who Liu Xiaobo is and why he is loved and respected by “anti-China” forces.


Ai Weiwei:

The man without enemies has finally come across a friend, bravo!1


Note: Keep in mind this post is not necessarily a reflection of everyone’s opinion. These tweets were chosen more or less at random. I genuinely didn’t see anyone on Twitter expressing dissatisfaction with the selection (in Chinese or English) but that may be as much of a commentary on the people I choose to follow as it is the reality of public opinion. Either way, it’s worth remembering: the average Chinese person doesn’t know that Liu Xiaobo has won, or even who he is. Will that change? Time will tell.

We’ll continue covering this as events warrant.


1 This is a reference to a statement Liu made in court before being sentenced to 11 years. He said that despite his treatment, he had no enemies.


This post was originally published on ChinaGeeks in October 2010.


Related Story:

Congratulations to Freedom Fighter Liu Xiaobo



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