Leading Chinese political cartoonist sends ‘Make Wall Great Again’ caps to Google amid criticism over censorship

DHARAMSALA, Oct 20: One of China’s most prolific and well-known political cartoonist has sent red caps with the words “Make Wall Great Again” to Google to protest against its plan to re-enter China with a censored search engine.

A Chinese political cartoonist, artist and rights activist who writes under the pseudonym of Badiucao has said that he sent about a dozen red caps to random Google employees, left another dozen on sculptures around Google’s US headquarters, and sent a pack of 50 caps to Google’s visitor shop, reports the Hong Kong Free Press.

The merchandise on an Android sculpture at Google’s HQ. Image: Badiucao

Badiucao has stated that the caps were a response to the search giant’s potential re-entry into China. “I want [Google] to know it is a mistake to collaborate with China’s censorship. It is as shameful as Trump’s wall, only this time it is an invisible wall online – the great firewall,” the activist said in the report.

According to the report, Badiucao first created the red caps as part of a cartoon and later as physical merchandise. He further said that he wrote the words “Make Wall Great Again” on the merchandise because of its double reference: first to China’s censorship system, nicknamed the great firewall, as well as to Trump’s slogan.

“When Google left the Chinese market years ago, a lot of people [applauded] its principle of defending free speech. But now, with the Dragonfly program and its CEO defending the program, it only left deep disappointment and fear of the consequences of this super [corporation’s] submission to a brutal regime,” the cartoonist added.

The activist has described the Trump cap as the crown of shame and said giving something similar to Google is the best ironic thing he can do in the USA.

Badiucao hopes that Google CEO Sundar Pichai will receive the message and further told the American multinational technology company that “if it wants to help China or Chinese people, it should do so by helping to fight and defeat the censorship system instead of becoming a part of it.”

Google’s plan to relaunch in China with Dragonfly (a censored search engine) has been underway since spring of last year and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO and a top Chinese government official.

Pichai publicly confirmed for the first time about its tentative plans to relaunch in China on Monday, earlier this week by stating that “it was important to explore”the possibility of running a search engine in China and that the censored search engine was able to serve over 99 per cent of search queries.

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