Liang Xiangyi Eye Roll
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Liang Xiangyi Eye Roll refers to jokes, videos and online discussion regarding the frustrated facial movement of Chinese reporter Lian Ziangyi during a perceived fawning question for the Chinese government at the National People’s Congress. References and tributes to the moment were censored online by the Chinese government.
On March 13th, 2018, during National People’s Congress, Liang Xiangyi, a reporter for the financial news site Yicai, was recorded rolling her eyes at what she saw as a particularly fawning question for a Chinese official (shown below).
The question roughly translated to:
The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic of universal concern. Therefore, as the director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, what new moves will you make in 2018? This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up Policy, and our country is going to further extend its openness to foreign countries. With General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi proposing the One Belt One Road Initiative, state-owned enterprises have increased investment to countries along the route of One Belt One Road, so how can the overseas assets of state-owned enterprises be effectively supervised to prevent loss of assets? What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what’s the result of our supervision? Please summarize for us, thank you."
Following the incident, people online began to meme the moment. On March 13th, 2018, Twitter  user and Bloomberg reporter shared a video of people parodying the eye roll. The post (shown below) received more than 300 retweets and 1,600 likes.
On Twitter, the incident was discussed under the hashtag "#eyerollgate."
Amazing to see how these two ladies just exploded over Chinese social media in the span of a few hours. Fan art in the making #RedBlueCamps pic.twitter.com/s6frv2gEgW— Lulu Yilun Chen (@luluyilun) March 13, 2018
Additionally, various online retailers in China began selling images of the eye roll for t-shirts and smartphone cases (shown below).
Later that evening, references to the video and mentions of Liang Xiangyi name were banned from Weibo, China's Twitter equivalent.
Additionally, the Chinese government sent an "urgent notice" to media outlets, banning mention of the episode. The notice read: "Urgent notice: all media personnel are prohibited from discussing the Two Sessions blue-clothed reporter incident on social media. Anything already posted must be deleted. Without exception, websites must not hype the episode."
Virtually all major media outlets covered the censorship, including CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, The Guardian and more.
 The New York Times – A Reporter Rolled Her Eyes, and China’s Internet Broke
 Twitter – @luluyilun's Tweet
 Twitter – #eyerollgate
 Business Insider – China banned all mention of a sassy, eye-rolling reporter after she became a meme
 CNN – Reporter's viral eye roll causes trouble with Chinese censors
 The Washington Post – In China, a reporter’s dramatic eye-roll went viral. Then searches of it were censored.
 BBC – China's National People's Congress: Eye rolls and tame questions
 The Guardian – Chinese reporter's spectacular eye-roll sparks viral memes and censorship
Mar 14, 2018 at 06:29PM EDT
Mar 14, 2018 at 08:11PM EDT in reply to
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