How a TikTok video of a woman chained up in a backyard shed sparked worldwide debate about China's shadowy human trafficking industry
 

How a TikTok video of a woman chained up in a backyard shed sparked worldwide debate about China's shadowy human trafficking industry

03/2022

//Since the final official statement on Xiaohuamei from the Jiangsu government, China has started to silence online criticism.

Academics and journalists have been told not to speak out on the issue, while social media posts about her case have been deleted.

However, experts say much more discussion has been allowed to grow around this case than other controversial issues in China, such as tennis star Peng Shuai's troubling relationship with a powerful official, Zhang Gaoli.

Kecheng Fang, assistant professor of media and communications at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said this was because what happened to Xiaohuamei was more of a local scandal, with less connection to Beijing.

"It has nothing to do with the central government or high-ranking officials," he said.

"So I can understand why there's such a room of discussion allowed for discussion on this topic."

However, he said, the ongoing online discussion about Xiaohuamei has caught Beijing's attention.

"Because a lot of foreign media covered this, this has become an important issue," he said.//

 

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