(Minghui.org) When the novel coronavirus began to spread in China in December 2019, instead of taking proper measures to contain the virus and protect the people, each province quickly issued guidelines for control of the spread of information to best serve the interest of the Chinese Communist Party.

In Shandong Province, the provincial officials issued three orders:

First, all government employees and employees of state-owned enterprises, Party members, lawyers, and residential committee staff may not comment on, share, or leak any virus information that is not approved by the government. 

Second, all the above-mentioned personnel must repost official information prepared by the government on social media to help maintain “social stability” and control public opinion.

Third, all chat groups on WeChat, except for official groups used for work, must be deleted. (WeChat is the dominant social media platform used by almost every company and business in China.)

No matter what the specifics are, the core of the requirements is to serve the CCP. The orders were passed down from the provincial level to all lower levels of government, including cities, districts, and residential committees. Staff at the lowest community committee level usually only receive oral orders, so as to not keep any evidence of the cover-up.

Such strict information control also makes it harder for overseas media to obtain factual information about the virus situation, as they only have the state-sanctioned news to refer to. 

In recent weeks, the CCP has also ramped up control of information circulating on the internet, making it that much harder for the outside world to know the real situation of the epidemic inside China.