Man detained for 9 days by Chinese police for sharing ‘insulting’ meme of dog wearing a police hat

meme police china covid-19 measures

Chinese authorities have recently detained a man for sharing a meme considered insulting to the image of the police force.

What happened: The man, who was identified by his surname Li, was summoned to a police station in Qingtongxia, a city in China’s Ningxia region, on Saturday following an investigation, according to a now-deleted report from The Paper via CNN.

  • Speaking to the authorities, Li admitted to sharing the image in a group chat. The image depicted a dog dressed in cop attire and holding a badge while pointing at the camera. The image Li sent is reportedly a widely used meme on Chinese social media, which sometimes varies in the form of a cat or a cartoon character.
  • Li also admitted he was “dissatisfied with the [COVID-19] community prevention measures” last month. Police detained Li for nine days for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”
  • Many social media users expressed outrage following Li’s detainment, arguing that internet jokes should not be used as a reason to detain someone. A hashtag related to the case reportedly garnered 140 million views on Weibo, but it has since been scrapped from the platform.

Strict protocol: China has one of the strictest COVID-19 measures, including travel restrictions, lockdowns and mass testing, in the world.

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  • Recently, government officials placed a Beijing elementary school into an overnight lockdown after one of the teachers tested positive for COVID-19, BBC reported.
  • On Sunday, about 34,000 park-goers were unable to leave Shanghai Disneyland Park for hours following a COVID-19 scare. They were escorted by special buses to their homes the following day.

Featured Image via Qingtongxia Police Department

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