China No Longer Lets Internet Users Call Kim Jong Un Fat

But that hasn't stopped them from finding creative ways to get around the censorship.

"Kim Fatty III," or "Jin Sanpang," a phrase the Chinese internet coined years ago to address the young leader of North Korea, has been added onto the loooong list of banned words in China.

Kcna / AFP / Getty Images

The crackdown was reportedly triggered by a state request from North Korea, according to the AP. BuzzFeed News was unable to independently verify that, however, as the Chinese government has denied to have given order to ban the term, and a search of official documents on the government websites of the two countries yielded nothing. But the ban was put into place simultaneously platforms, suggesting a top-down approach could be in place.

As of press time, the term, which refers to Kim Jong-un's reported weight of 280 lb, is blocked on China's biggest social media platform, Weibo, and biggest search engine, Baidu.


"Sorry, according to regulations and policies, search result for 'Jin San Pang' is not displayed," Weibo displays when a search is completed, returning no results.

If the North Korean government did send the request to its Chinese counterpart, it might be regretting the decision, as Weibo is undergoing a collective brainstorm to figure out alternative ways to refer to Kim.

"What to call this person," a popular Weibo account asked, which has been reposted for tens of thousands of times and thousands have come up with suggestions.

People soon figured out that they can still address Kim with the phrase in posts's comment sections.

"Ok Fatty III, I got it Fatty III," one replied learning about the news.

"鑫," a character constructed with three of the character "金" — Kim's family name in Chinese, literally three "Kim" — has also begun spreading to dodge censorship.

And people are still posting memes, including a screenshot of a popular comedy show with subtitles saying, "not that I'm blaming you, Fatty III, as a fellow you are quite mean."

"Don't you guys worry about the serious consequences [if you keep joking]?" another asked, jokingly.

Even the international edition of the People's Daily chimed in. "Here we see the best joke and news of the year be born. Korean people overlooked the profoundness of Chinese culture," its Weibo post read.

It also contributed more ideas: "Kim Obese III, Kim Fatty 3[...] Gold three fat" — the last of which it got by throwing in English words and Roman characters to throw off the censors.

That advice was quickly put to use: "From now on, we can no longer cordially call the great comrade Kim Jong-un 'Kim Fatty III.'"

Sorry, Kim. China's done what it could.

Kcna / AFP / Getty Images



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.