One of Florentijn Hofman’s giant rubber ducks sat in Hong Kong’s harbor last year, inspiring knock-offs in China. Taking inspiration from the big bird, a 72-foot inflatable yellow toad arrived in Beijing’s Yuyuantan Park over the weekend. The toad’s creator, Guo Yongyao, meant to invoke the traditional symbolism of the “wealth-drawing golden toad” (招财金蟾). But the toad invokes something else for Chinese netizens: former president Jiang Zemin.
As soon as the connection was made, Xinhua and Sina deleted their stories about the giant toad. Related keywords do not seem to have been blocked on Weibo search, but a number of posts about the toad have been filtered, as FreeWeibo has documented.
Jiang Zemin is often called “The Toad” for his resemblance to the broad-faced amphibian. But even posts that make no reference to Jiang are being blocked.
Read more about this “toad story” at China Digital Times.