China’s Oddly Phallic New Building

China building

The new headquarters for The People’s Daily is raising a lot of eyebrows:

The People’s Daily is the main state-owned newspaper of China’s communist party, and everyone was pretty psyched about the paper’s new Beijing headquarters. The building is massive, imposing, and, uh, currently shaped like a colossal penis. Now, as construction workers try to finish the engineering, the country’s censors are working overtime to stop Chinese people on social media from laughing at the expense of the very paper in charge of controlling the country’s message. According to The International Business Times, the nearly 500-foot tower won’t be finished until this time next year, but the war on mocking it has already begun.

You see, China likes its censorship — remember when the country censored Men in Black 3 for talking about the country’s censors? — and the government tries to have nearly as tight a grip on its Internet free speech as it does on its newspaper headlines. Back in December, China passed a law that would allow thegovernment to delete online messages deemed “illegal.” The communist censors even have control over monitoring Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, effectively controlling what goes viral — even “Gangnam Style.”. So, yeah, making fun of that thing up there on social media wasn’t going fly, especially since it was the new home of the state-run media.

Given what the thing looks like, they really can’t be surprised at the jokes, can they?

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. JKB says:

    What a cock-up.

  2. Donald Trump says:

    They stole my plans for the new WTC.

  3. CSK says:

    Does it have any condom-iniums?

  4. CSK says:


    I think we must conclude that the architect was a dickhead.

  5. rodney dill says:

    Hey New York!!!! Eat me!!!

  6. rudderpedals says:

    Looks fine now, sure, but to expect this kind of performance for years on end with the same tenants? I don’t think so.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    They’re going to need to do fireworks off the top of that thing.

  8. Franklin says:

    Apparently they were inspired on a recent visit to Ypsilanti, Michigan …


    /Also FYI: the town is pronounced with an “ip” at the beginning, not a “yip”.

  9. Al says:

    Given the context I guess this gif is a little too on the nose.

  10. rodney dill says:

    ….I guess it would be used for lawyer’s offices….

    (sorry Doug)

  11. John425 says:

    NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN take note: This is how you demonstrate the power of crony journalism. A phallus that says “Up yours!”

    The original architectural plans called for a waterfall to flow from the top but that was later cancelled and no word as to why.