Earlier this month was the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre during with the Chinese Communist Party opened fire on pro-democracy protesters. The exact death toll from this event is a matter of debate but the best estimate is that between 800 and several thousand people were killed. China does not allow any observance or public memorial of the massacre. And that includes any mention of it online.
Zoom, the teleconferencing company, recently shut down several Zoom conference calls after China notified it that the purpose of the calls was to discuss and remember the massacre. Zoom did so even though the accounts organizing the calls were based in the U.S. and Hong Kong.
On May 31, Zhou Fengsuo, a U.S.-based Chinese dissident and president of Humanitarian China, organized a virtual Tiananmen Square Massacre commemoration over Zoom. About 250 people, including participants from mainland China, joined the event. It included talks by Zhou and other student leaders of the 1989 democracy movement, the mothers of those killed in the crackdown, and survivors like Dong Shengkun, a Beijing resident who spent 17 years in prison for attempting to block troops from reaching Tiananmen Square.
A week later, Zhou found Zoom had suspended Humanitarian China’s paid account without notification or explanation.