The owners of a prominent Chinese feminist social media account say China's biggest social media network, Weibo, has suspended their account for "violating state laws" after they shared an article about an upcoming anti-Trump women's strike happening around the world.
Xiong Jing, an editor of Nuquan Zhisheng – or Feminist Voices – told BuzzFeed News that she received a message from Weibo on Monday night notifying her that Feminist Voices had been suspended because the content of a recent post had "violated relevant state laws and regulations".
Although Weibo did not identify the piece of content that led to the shutdown, Xiong said a Feb. 14 post with a translated version of a Guardian article about a planned women's strike on March 8 had been deleted by the social media giant. The strike is being organized by the people behind the recent Women's March.
"We have always been posting content about equal rights and feminism. There is nothing sensitive about this content," Xiong said, adding that the article "doesn’t even really affect what is going on in China."
After the editors shared the news of the suspension on an alternative platform, many have emailed in photos and taken to other social media outlets to protest the account's suspension.
"I think we are sharing doing something quite important in China right now," Xiong said, "to be able to provide new thoughts and ideas when it comes to the gender inequality that people have become accustomed to in life."
"Female voices are not heard enough, and we are a platform for that, so being suspended will definitely have an effect," Xiong said. "Today is only the fourth day, but it already feels like it's been a long time."
Xiong said they have attempted to reach out to Sina Weibo to find out more about why they were suspended but have not heard back. She said she is unsure whether the account will even be returned to them after the 30 days are over.
The editors have taken to posting on an alternative Weibo account called Huan Nusheng Pingdeng — or "Return Equality to Women" – in the meantime, while messages of support and solidarity are continuing to flood in.
Kassy Cho is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.