Southern Metropolis editor quits after refusing to bow to cadres

March 29, 2016 15:43
Yu Shaolei's blog post announcing his resignation from Southern Metropolis Daily was immediately taken down but not before it had gone viral on the internet. Photo: Weibo

A state newspaper editor has resigned, citing his "inability to bear the Communist Party's surname".

Yu Shaolei, 48, took to Weibo to announce his decision to leave Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily, Hong Kong news website reports.

The post was immediately taken down but not before it had gone viral on the internet.

"It's time to end this relationship without dragging it any further," he said in the post.

“I’m old and my knees cannot take it any more. I want to see if I can change to a new position."

Netizens speculated Yu was referring to “too much kneeling to party officials over editorial decisions”.

Yu's reference to the party surname was apparently a veiled criticism of President Xi Jinping who recently told newspaper editors that the media must "adopt the party's surname" and serve as its "faithful tool". 

Yu said his departure allows the person "tasked with monitoring my Weibo account" to take a well deserved break.

In what netizens described as a sarcastic parting shot, Yu said he is "sorry for making you tense over the past few years. I sincerely wish you well on your new assignments.”

Yu said is leaving the newspaper for good.

He was born in Guangdong's Chaoshan city and worked his way from school teacher and photo studio owner to the editorship of the newspaper's lifestyle section in 2000.

Last month, its Shenzhen edition was at the center political controversy that cost the job of its editor for allegedly placing a hidden message in a headline on a story about a government crackdown on the media.

The characters were arranged to read "media having party as their surname will have their souls returned to the sea".

The headline ran a day after Xi's media tour.

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