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China: Let's do push-up!

You know why millions of internet users in China are doing push-up?

In, posts about push-up poured in. When a new post was put on the discussion board, people would rush in and left a very short comment, for example, “I am here to do push-up!”, “What the hell has it anything to do with me? I am just here for push-up!”

Many people have registered new IDs named with phrases including or related to “push-up”. In, where people could create groups with keywords, the push-up group gained over 10,000 posts overnight, while only some hundred a few days ago., a website named with the Chinese pinyin of push-up was open. On the site, you can click on the button “make a push-up”, and then see how many people from different regions are doing the same exercise with you. Shanghai topped the list now with almost 20,000.

But there is one thing weird: you can do no more than 3 push-ups. Also, occasionally people will jump out, warning kind-heartedly that you should stop when doing 2.


Caution! Only 2 push-ups! Or you should be responsible for your action.



After doing push-ups, please watch around. Be aware that some one will be suicided !

(not a mistake, here suicide comes to be a passive voice. You'll know the answer later.)
Now, doing 3 push-ups has been called the most fatal weapon ever.

The origin of PUSH-UP tide.

The origin of push-up, with significant political implication, has to be traced back to the recent riot happened in Weng’an, Guizhou on 28, June. On that day, a crowd of more than 30.000 people set fire on the police office to protest that the local police were hiding up three young people, with potential tie to local officials, who were suspected to be responsible for the death of a 15-year-old school girl, Li Shufen (李淑芬). Li's parents claimed they raped and then killed their daughter, judged by her injured body.

Rumors pointed that police exculpated for the real murders, saying the girl was only drowned.

Though the scene of unrest was recorded by locals’ cellphones and cameras, shocking the country when people saw hundreds of junior high kids smashing and breaking up the police station, the state media only gave a few words on it, claiming it was an incident ignited by a few criminals.

Meanwhile, the censorship was launched, and administrators were working 24 hours a day to wipe out any related entry on the Chinese internet. But the videos and words of mouth were impossible to be taken out completely.

Though under the pressure, not until 1 July did the Office of Information in Guizhou finally published an official statement. It changed no tone, still attributing the unrest to a crowd misdirected by a small group of agitators, and defended that the girl was drowned without being raped.

Exactly this statement, which brought back what happened at the night of 21, in police’s point of view, gave birth to the great tide of push-up.

A passage (quote from goes as follow:

经过调查得知,6月21日20时许,李树芬与女友王某一起邀约出去玩,同李树芬的男朋友陈某及其朋友刘某等吃过晚饭后,步行到西门河边大堰桥处闲谈。李树 芬在与刘某闲谈时,突然说:“跳河死了算了,如果死不成就好好活下去”。刘某见状急忙拉住李树芬,制止其跳河行为。约10分钟后,陈某提出要先离开。当陈 某走后,刘某见李树芬心情平静下来,便开始在桥上做俯卧撑。当刘某做到第三个俯卧撑的时候,听到李树芬大声说“我走了”,便跳下河中。

The investigation shows, at 8.00 pm 21, June, Li hang out with Wang, his boyfriend Chen, and Liu, a girl (4 altogether). After dinner, they chatted and walked to the Dayan bridge across the West Gate River. While talking with Liu, Li suddenly said: “I’ll just jump into the river, whatever. But if I am not dead, I’ll live on.” Liu had to pull Li back immediately to prevent her from suicide. Ten minutes later, Chen left. Liu, because he saw Li had already calmed down, started to do push-up on the bridge. When doing the third one, he suddenly heard Li crying “I leave”. Then Li jumped into the river.

3 hours later, her body was found.

3 push-ups, a fatal weapon, a curse, or a magic? At least this is the greatest fun people found from this statement, making people burst into laugh. Numerous suspicions had not been clarified. How dare gangsters smash police office? Are all the kids shown in the videos criminals? Why did Li want to commit suicide? Why was Li’s uncle roughed up after complaining to the police office? There was no explanation, but a push-up joke.

As the war of posting and post-deleting was still going on, netizens were fed up with further struggle. Finally, a few minutes after the official statement, a post named 我是来做俯卧撑的 (I am here to do push-up) showed up on Tianya, and the push-up campaign gained momentum in a crazy speed. Posts alike sprawled over the internet. This might be the only way in which netizens are able to allude to what they care, or just simply vent their anger and grief.




Give me 3 push-ups, I can push the earth. ——-Archimedes
To push-up or not to push-up, that's the question. ——–Hamlet
I have a dream, that one day black can do push-up freely, and nobody will ask why. ——-Martin Luther King.

The list goes on.

An anchorman doing push-up at Bird-nest

A famous host Qu Zhihang(区志航) is doing push-up at the the National Stadium, picture from Qu's blog.

Famous saying were changed into push-up mode. Famous stories were replaced into a push-up plot. Celebrities pictured themselves doing push-up. People’s creativity silently but vividly fights against the censorship. We do push-up!


  • Kai

    LoL. I’m glad this is getting the humourous coverage it deserves on GVO. China may not be the Great Peace Lover but she sure is the Great Push Upper! ;)

  • Zictor


  • Sichi

    there must be something wrong with the local government and the police !

  • Great story. Kind of a morbid joke, but it’s great to read about the weird memes that crop up in different spheres.

  • Hm

    Is push-ups what the guys do in China to impress the girls, or some kind of pastime?

  • [...] How do Chinese internet users express their discontent over the Weng’an incident?  Why not do push-ups? From Global [...]

  • Ahua

    Nude pushup shots near “Bird’s Nest”

  • bob

    Thank you all for the comments!

    To Hm: I think push-up is for exercice, muscle-building (then attract girls, maybe) until recently when such a new meaning is attached.

  • Ben

    It would be nice if push-up is added as a sport to the Olympics.

  • Charles Liu

    When these bloggers are not so busy doing push-ups, perhaps they can take a look at the facts of the case:

    - 3 autopsy, including latest with the high court’s oversight, concluded the girl was not sexually assulted

    - none of the accused are linked to local government official

    - reports of uncle beaten to death was a rumor (see Roland Soong’s “I’m not dead yet” coverage), as well as petitioners being beaten at the police station.

  • Charles Liu

    Bob, I hope GV will set a good example and cover more facets of this story, instead of doing push ups:

    The uncle that was supposedly beaten to death by police was interviewed by HK media (1:25 of the segment) The police is investigating the allegation that the friends of the accused waiting outside the police station followed the uncle and assulted him. The police had nothing to do with it.

    Also the rumor that the accused are connected: first it was they are family of local GongAn, then the rumor snowballed to son of county head, then son of provincial GongAn head.

    Keep doing push-up people, just don’t let the facts get in the way.

  • @Charles:
    Thanks for all the updates on this that you’ve left on different posts, Charles. Unfortunately, as has been pointed out to you in the past, GVO still doesn’t do original reporting. As with anything newsworthy, were someone to do original reporting of their own and write a blog post bringing to light these new details, I’m very confident that it would be linked to on GVO.

    And if you ever want to chat, find me on Twitter anytime:

  • Charles Liu

    John, please look at the citations I provided. David Peng is a blogger. The youtube video was mentioned in number of Chinese blogs:

    I’ve made many attempts to highlight certain aspects of China’s blogsphere GVO seems to habitually ignore. But feel free to continue to ignore them as “original reporting”.

    Again, I feel, this is yet another example of New Media’s irresponsibility.

  • Charles Liu

    test, my previous comment just disappered and never even showed up as needing moderation. Another filter glitch or censor flat turn on?

  • Charles Liu

    Just in case search engine result is too cumbersome to wade thru, the Youtube HK segment appeared in the following blog sites:


  • Charles Liu

    Tried to post again, removed potential filter triggers but still not showing up.

    Blaming “filter glitch” only gets you so far Oso.

  • Charles Liu

    Just in case search engine result is too cumbersome to wade thru, the You tube HK segment appeared in the following blog sites:

    zhua xia
    umm yeah
    friend feed
    blog dot 163
    hi dot baidu
    wen yun chao
    zou la

  • Charles Liu

    Just in case search engine result is too much to wade thru, the Yo u t u b HK segment appeared in the following blog sites:

    zhu a xia
    umm ye ah
    friend fe ed
    blog (162+1)
    hi Caidu
    we nyu nch ao
    zou la

  • Charles

    I am moderating comments today and have approved 3 so far today and have deleted none. However, as much as I try to be online and checking as much as I can, I am at the same time working on other projects, so I would kindly ask for your patience if they don’t come up straight away.

    Also, be aware that the captcha system below not always gives you an error message if you type it wrong. So there may be the reason for you not being able to see a comment you were expecting.

    All I can do is assure you that there hasn’t been any censorship going on – we don’t need to.


  • Charles Liu

    I can’t say “cumbersome” OMG 8-)

  • Charles Liu

    OMG I can’t use the word “c^mbers0me”? Okay I take it back, you guys just don’t know what the duce you’re doing with filters.

    But I stand by my concern that certain aspects of China blogsphere seems to be intentionally under/unrepresented in GVO. For whatever reason the seemingly more sane and rational blog discussions I notice on hot topics almost never get any attention GVO.

    Why? Is new media like the old, where only bad news and sensationalism sell? I don’t know.

  • Charles Liu

    I’ll try again Paula, as test. But 3 attemsps all dissappeared without showing up as needing moderation.

    Check the filter graveyard for clues please. As far as I can tell it’s a clean word that has a dirty component 8-)

  • Indeed, Akismet Spam seems not to like that word beginning with c, don’t ask me why, :) three comments were recovered from the spam filter. They are here for your perusal, and for you to remember that we don’t censor comments.


  • Charles Liu

    My apologies for repeated posts, but they were made to test GVO’s spam filter problems.

    Many of the posts were revived by the moderator after finding them in the spam graveyard.

  • Charles Liu

    Can I use the word assert?

  • Charles Liu

    Paula, can you tell me why my comments in this thread either never made it, or have disappeared since?

    No problem if it’s too old, but as you can see comment 1188703 has since disappeared.

  • I don’t know the answer, I am afraid…

  • Charles Liu: I am the technical administrator of this site. We use several comment spam solutions because nothing else slows the onslaught of spam that would make it impossible to show all your wonderful thoughts on this post.

    If you would like to continue testing the Akismet spam catching service I recommend you do it on your own blog or on a test blog you set up yourself.

    If you have comments about Akismet and it’s filtering (which happens on non-local servers that guess based on thousands of comments that are marked as spam or not) please send them to the administrators of Akismet, the site is here.

    You may also want to note that in posting many, similar comments in a short span of time you make yourself look like a spammer because you are repeating yourself and posting too quickly. If you were actually participating in a conversation you would post more slowly as you waited for others to respond. Acting more like someone in a real conversation would make the spam filters treat you more like a person.

  • Charles Liu

    Mr. Clark, do you have any idea why GVO claims to not censor, yet comment 1188703 has disappeared from above post?

  • ali baba

    Blog on
    I think this article has hidden meaning.

    作者:队长别开枪-是我 回复日期:2008-6-30 20:18:26 
    All of you wicked folks,just wait there,government will collect the debt,and punish all you rioters!One person die in a useless town of a faraway province,big deal.In China,human die everyday.

    Weng Chuan Big Quake,80,000 human gone instantly,the whole of Chinese population of one heart,knitted together like a piece of rope,united around the Party Central Committee,all with one mind to fight against natural disaster,had anyone ever gone to burn and loot Weng Chuan county government,Chengdu City government office complex?NONE,not even one!How lovely are the Sichuan common folks! 2 years ago,countless workers in Shan Xi underground mine collapse,Jiou # # ,Lee # # went to the site again and again,families of the dead victims emotionally steady,had anyone gone to burn and loot ShanXi government complex?NONE,not even one!How lovely are the Shan Xi common folks.


    What do various county governments represent? It is the party,the central committee,they are the nation’s backbone;They are the elite of Chong Hua,and how dare you folks go to loot and burn them? What are you guys,a handful of nothing,to finish you lots, just like squashing flies and ants.Did not contribute nothing towards the society,all day long with full tummy then go around create all kinds of chaos.A girl born into an ordinary peasant family,no one ask you to look pretty,didn’t you know,by looking pretty you have commited crime? The children of us ordinary folks,must try to look ugly,if by accident turn out to be a bit prettier,should try your best to look ugly.Otherwise you are creating chaos for the nation,didn’t you know?


    Government office complex,police cars and policemen,are all government properties,by burning and smashing ,you lots have commited serious crime,do you know? You wicked folks,this time you will die.

  • ali baba

    (博讯北京时间2008年6月29日 转载)

    强国论坛 translate Strong Nation Forum ,on,the official website of People’s Daily,is one of the extreme nationalistic forum in mainland China.On 20-June morning,Hu jin-tao went on-line for 15 minutes,resulting in tens of thousands of netizens,all log-in onto that web page and try to have a chat with Hu,”Brother No1″,an affectionate nick name given to Hu by young bloggers(in their 20 or early 30),they themself are nick-named “Angry Youths”
    Most of the blogs written by these “Angry Youths” are pro-government,such as anti CNN,anti Dalai Lama,kill Sharon Stone,stuff like that.That was the main reason “Brother No1″ went on-line there because that is his home turf,100% no funny or embarrassing comments.
    On 28-June,the students riot in Wen An ,has changed the color of “Angry Youth” (on both and once and for all.For the first time in the short history of Chinese internet,95% of comments posted on,, and were supporting the students,calling those local officials “Liers”,calling for the immediate resignation of local officials.Some even called for the overthrow of THE mighty CCP,and these calls come from XINHUA.CN and PEOPLE.COM,from the CCP’s headquarters!

    The show of power by dissident netizens,by putting massive amounts of posts(in tens of thousands) onto major chinese bbs,went from 28-June to 2-July,then slowly calmed down.On,some bloggers commented that this is:The Cyber War that will be remembered for long time.

    Bellow are some of the comments left on

    2. 瓮安大火比火炬更激动人心 ( wanmin 2008-06-29 18:17:16 )

    The big fire at Wen An makes people’s heart more excited than olympic torch

    福娃里面有个代表火的,有人说火炬被抢已近应了,我看这次鬼州瓮安警民联谊开篝火晚会才算是应了。 ( 读资本论治平天下 2008-06-29 18:02:38 )
    One of the Olympic dolls represents fire,someone said the attack of the torch meant something,to me,this jamboree bonfire by the friendly police and all their friends really means something.

    我最欣赏的是瓮安消防队的同志们,车开不进去,就不勉强.哈哈. ( 曾是知青④ 2008-06-29 17:49:38 )

    I particularly admire those comrades from WenAn fire department,couldn’t get the fire engine any closer,relax,not here to force anything.HAHA.

    椐谣传:事发后,瓮安竟然看不见穿制服的工按.”都转入地下工作了? ( 重庆越南 2008-06-29 17:40:57 )

    瓮安那么多人,却见火不救,袖手旁观。 ( 绑架真理 2008-06-29 17:36:55 )

    According to rumors:During the riot,those people in uniform are nowhere to be seen,are they all gone underground?
    So many people at WenAn,not only refuse to put out the fire,just stood there and watch,with hands in pocket.

    国内发生的事要到国外网站去看!悲哀啊! ( 贵州乡民 2008-06-29 17:33:12 )

    神圣圣火在贵州瓮安热烈燃烧!! ( 北秀村的沙漠 2008-06-29 17:31:58 )

    Have to go to web sites outside China to learn what is happening inside China!How sad!
    Sacred fire is is burning like hell in Quizhou!

    刚才听说:贵州瓮安十万民众自制圣火迎奥运,公安大楼意外着火。 ( 广州家伙 2008-06-29 17:08:34 )

    Breaking news:Quizhou WenAn 100,000 people make own fire to welcome Olympic,police big building catch fire by accident.

    如果瓮安的当事人(县太爷)迅速被自杀,效果也许会更好。 ( 随缘而至 2008-06-29 17:02:20 )

    Supposing the person involved(county big boss) was swiftly being suicided,the end result shall be better.

    从瓮安事件看出,一个人民没有选票、权力缺乏有效、意见和诉求没有管道的国家其社会混乱只是迟早的事情! ( 争自由 2008-06-29 13:49:04 )

    The WenAn incident clearly shows that,a country that do not give ballot paper to its people, with no effective restriction of its power,opinions and requests have nowhere to appeal,this kind of country,its plunging into social chaos is only a matter of time.

  • chan

    Push up for the body and mind, true spirit and soul!!! Push it up !!!

  • [...] I’m just here to do push-ups. [...]

  • Pricelessall

    Why did the Chinese authorities come up with the strange “push-ups”, not anything else that makes more sense? One wouldn’t do push-ups on a bridge, would he? He would stand there, leaned on the railings, and talked to his friends.

    My guess is, someone witness this guy (or two guys) raping the girl, and told the police and other people what he saw. In order to get around a story, the GongAn (police) said that the defendent was doing “push-ups”, that he wasn’t raping.

  • [...] I will tell you a trick I do not tell everyone: Leave the country, quickly, do a few difficult push-ups, I promise it will [...]

  • [...] popular terms are very powerful in China, earlier on we have Weng'an “push ups”, and it has discredited local government even though the final report came out and showed that [...]

  • [...] battute popolari su internet acquistano molta forza in Cina; in passato abbiamo avuto “le flessioni” di Weng'an [in], espressione che ha screditato il governo locale, anche se dal rapporto finale è emerso che [...]

  • [...] the lid. Millions of bloggers are watching over this land of free speech, where neologisms like “push-ups” and “hide & seek” are emerging one after another. While these might originate on [...]

  • [...] I will tell you a trick I do not tell everyone: Leave the country, quickly, do a few difficult push-ups, I promise it will [...]

  • Jenna Major

    Sounds bizarre. I’m glad you explained it here. Thanks. San Antonio Lawyers

  • Rachel Page

    For a change, something positive is in the news about China. I actually like this idea. Maybe I’ll start a movement like this.

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