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China censored the letter "N" after Xi backlash on social media

Xi Jinping
A decorative plate featuring an image of Xi next to a statue of late communist leader Mao Zedong at a souvenir store in Beijing. Photo: Greg Baker / AFP via Getty Images

Chinese censors took swift action to ban certain words and phrases from Weibo, China's version of Twitter, amid fallout from the Communist Party's proposal to do away with presidential term limits, the Guardian reports.

The big picture: The move shows just how swift China's autocratic regime can be, especially as use of the letter "N" was blocked from the service for a period of time. Victor Mair, a China expert at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote in a blog post that the decision came about “probably out of fear on the part of the government that ‘N’ = ‘n terms in office’, where possibly n > 2.”