Chinese state media appears to have censored itself after taking down a video that was supposed to promote the host city of this month’s Asian Games.
The People’s Daily was hoping to show literary links to Hangzhou, but one poem by Lin Sheng caused a bit of a stir.
Dating back to the 12th century, the piece of work is believed to criticise Song Dynasty rulers for being corrupt and ignoring the needs of normal people.
Posted on Weibo, it soon attracted the attention of eagle-eyed members of the public.
One person posted that the poem’s theme was to criticise and mock “the corruption and incompetence of rulers, and the indulgence of high-ranking officials”.
According to China Digital Times, the video also included another poem used by activists to get around censorship of the Tiananmen Square massacre on 4 June 1989.
The video containing the poems was speedily taken down by The People’s Daily – but not before being viewed more than 130,000 times.
And it will have had a significantly wider audience after being shared on the social media site by other official accounts.