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24 June


China banned new promotional video with deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown

German company "Leica Camera" try to distance itself from this video

Photo: YouTube

/NOVOSTIVL/ Leica Camera has sought to distance itself from a promotional video depicting photographers covering the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown three decades ago, after it landed the German company in hot water in China. This article appeared in South China Morning.

The five-minute promotional video, “The Hunt”, depicts various dark moments of war and conflicts through the lenses of photojournalists. But its main plot follows a Western journalist inside a Beijing hotel in 1989 as he tries to go outside to document the shooting of student protesters by the Chinese army, but is confronted and chased by Chinese soldiers.

Released this week, the short film comes at a politically sensitive time for the Chinese government, mere weeks ahead of the 30th anniversary of its bloody suppression of pro-democracy protests in the heart of Beijing.

On the eve of June 4, 1989, Chinese troops, backed by tanks, opened fire on protesters while marching into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the dead ranged from the hundreds into the thousands.

The cinematic ad was met with blanket censorship on China’s social media. By Thursday evening Beijing time, any post containing the keyword “Leica” – in English or in Chinese – could no longer be published on the social platform Weibo, due to “a violation of relevant laws and regulations or the Weibo Community Convention”.