It turns out the Chinese are hellbent on voting… for their favorite singer on an American Idol-style show called "Super Girl."
Perhaps they enjoy voting a bit too much.
According to the Financial Times, the wildly popular televised singing competition has been cancelled, "following government pressure on a programme that some officials saw as subversive because the audience voting too closely represented Western-style democracy."
Anyone with a mobile phone in China can nudge their favorite "Super Girl" towards victory with a text message.
The show was viewed by 400 million in its peak, a viewership that nearly amounts to every human being with a pulse in the U.S. and Mexico. As you can imagine, all these votes build great fame and fortune for both the winner and the runner-ups as well.
All this apparently makes communist party censors uncomfortable.
According to a Time Magazine piece from 2006, written during an earlier run of the show, censors were already concerned that Super Girl was not "constructing a harmonious socialist society" and should not "make a hubbub about things as they please and must avoid creating stars."
But don't Idol-style shows prove the lameness of democracy? That's the contention of the state-managed media outlet China Daily, which wrote this in 2005.
"How come an imitation of a democratic system ends up selecting the singer who has the least ability to carry a tune?"