China's censorship devices were faced with a challenge during Obama's inauguration speech when the new American president mentioned the word communism. Chinese broadcasters quickly faded out the translator's voice and replaced it with an unsuspecting presenter.

Images from state TV channel CCTV. Six seconds into the video, Obama begins to say "Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions." After 20 seconds he had been silenced by the Chinese broadcasters. In reality, he went on to say: "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist".

The presenter, visibly embarrassed by the sudden interruption, poses an impromptu question to a reporter, who then stumbles over a response about Obama's economic policy. On the Chinese web, only versions of the speech in English include references to communism and corruption. Extracts broadcast by the Chinese media and local press, however, were all censored.

"The audience wanted to listen to Obama, not a crap commentary from a reporter!"

Message posted by "Yehuchan" 21 January on this Chinese forum.

It's really outrageous what CCTV did during Obama's speech! You either show the whole thing or you don't show anything at all. Cutting bits out is not acceptable. Is it a professional channel or not? The audience wanted to listen to Obama, not a crap commentary from a reporter!

The specialist had trouble with her analysis that they showed halfway through his speech. So I thought that when they went back to Obama's speech [after the above video ends], then that was it. But no! As soon as we heard the words terrorism or communism we were whisked back to the studio to hear what the commentators had to say.

What century are we living in? They're still taking us for idiots. The internet is developed enough for us to know everything now. Does CCTV think they're clever? Someone should remind them that they represent the image of the country."