by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Twitter has joined Facebook and YouTube in restricting social media accounts of popular dissident Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, in the face of intense Chinese pressure.
Guo, a New York-based billionaire and critic of corruption among senior Chinese leaders, said several Twitter accounts he used to reach more than 700,000 followers had been suspended.
A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment citing a policy of not commenting on individual accounts.
Earlier, YouTube restricted Guo’s live streaming from his widely-watched channel used to post hour-long videos revealing tantalizing details of high-level corruption among Chinese leaders.
Guo spent 28 years as an entrepreneur in China and amassed a fortune from real estate and other ventures. At one time a member of China’s economic elite who knew senior political and military leaders, he has begun exposing corruption he witnessed during those years.
Facebook, which has sought unsuccessfully to enter the Chinese social media market, on Sept. 30 blocked pages associated with Guo after receiving a complaint.
A spokeswoman told the New York Times the action was the result of Guo publishing personal information of others without their consent.
Then, days later, YouTube partially suspended Guo’s widely-watched video channel used to broadcast details of Guo’s knowledge about the inner workings of the Chinese political and intelligence networks.
The account was prohibited from live-streaming videos for 90 days under YouTube’s policy in responding to complaints by issuing a “strike” against users.