On May 14, Time magazine’s cover story was the political scandal following former Chongqing Party boss Bo Xilai. The title was the People’s Republic of Scandal, a reference to the People’s Republic of China. According to reports by World News, since then, Chinese authorities have confiscated 62 copies of the magazine that were mailed to Beijing.
The Chinese Communist Party tries to maintain the image of unity within the highest ranks of authority. But the scandal surrounding Bo Xilai, which some say may ultimately bring down security chief Zhou Yongkang, has created an international image of dissent with the Communist Party.
Because of tough censorship within the Mainland, many Chinese tourists attempt to smuggle in foreign journalism that deals with sensitive topics, such as the Bo Xilai and Wang Lijun incident.
The Epoch Times reported that Hong Kong sales toped 20 thousand in the month after the story broke. 80% of sales in Hong Kong were customers from the Mainland.
But the demand for foreign newspapers was felt as far away as Los Angeles, with one bookstore manager saying Chinese tourists bought up anything mentioning Wang Lijun or Bo Xilai.