Lockdown again. In China it is the second large-scale lockdown this year alone, after the corona virus in the Pearl River Delta in the city of Guangzhou has been spreading again since the beginning of November. This is now sprouting bizarre flowers on China’s Twitter alternative “Weibo”.

At the end of the week, the authorities in Guangzhou, China, reported just over 2,000 new local corona cases for three days in a row, including only 114 with symptoms on Tuesday. That sounds manageable for a city with over 19 million inhabitants. But the way the Chinese government interprets the term zero-Covid, despite an infected rate of around 1 in 8261, it says: stay at home, start mass tests, track contacts.

The frustration with the country’s corona policy, from which President Xi is still not moving, can currently be followed easily online. Surprisingly, because normally the rules on the Chinese web are by no means the same as in the rest of the world. Censorship is the order of the day here, and unwelcome posts, photos, videos, and other critical content are usually immediately blocked.

On “Weibo”, the Chinese version of the short message service Twitter, the following has been read for several days now: “We had to lock down in April, and then again in November”. again in November,” wrote a user on the platform. What follows is an unquotable collection of swear words. Among other things, it is about the mothers of some Chinese officials.

It’s not the only text message that gives a glimpse of the mood of Guangzhou residents at the moment. As the American news network CNN reports, thousands of messages are piling up with formulations such as “go to hell” and “the government is talking nonsense”.

The highlight: Most of these contributions are written in Cantonese. This is mainly spoken in southern China, the native speakers in the Guangzhou region use the term Guangzhouhua for it. In Hong Kong and Macau Province, most use the word Guangdonghua to name the language. However, the official state language in China, which is therefore favored by the government, is Mandarin and those who do not speak Cantonese usually do not understand a word.

The phonetics of Cantonese are more closely related to the late Middle Chinese tonal system of the 12th century and unite numerous complex slang terms, while Standard Chinese has a much more modern sound. The best way to compare is to imagine a person from Bavaria trying to understand someone who only speaks Low German. (For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that German and Chinese are difficult to compare from the outset.)

Since Cantonese offers ample opportunities to circumvent system censorship, more and more Chinese are turning to the language. And since China’s state government has been trying aggressively for some time to establish Mandarin as the uniform state language, Cantonese also seems to be a very appropriate form of protest against the regime.

The satirical posts of the angry, of those who feel abandoned by the Chinese government, are piling up online. “Do you think my rent doesn’t cost any money?” Writes a user who can no longer go to work due to the renewed lockdown.

Incidentally, the citizens of the province are not the only ones to suffer. The lockdown also has consequences for global trade. As the Handelsblatt reports, more than 90 cargo ships are currently stuck in the city’s port. This could also have an impact in Europe. Fashion chains like H