Lilac Garden, or DXY, a popular Chinese medical information site, was banned and fined after posting an article questioning the effectiveness of a regime-promoted herbal COVID treatment. The drug trademark Lianhua Qingwen is a herbal remedy marketed for fever and sore throats.

According to Agence France-Presse, DXY was banned due to “violations of relevant laws and regulations.” Censors prevented at least five of its Weibo accounts from being updated. DXY’s official WeChat accounts, which typically publish multiple articles daily, have not been updated since Monday. The Weibo notice did not specify which regulations DXY violated and did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment.

After the news that DXY was banned broke out this week, it immediately attracted netizens’ attention and made it to the top of Weibo’s hot searches.

Lilac Garden is a Chinese digital medical and health-related services company established in 2000, and it has grown very fast. At the end of 2020, it completed the financing of $5,500 million, with Hillhouse and Tencent as its leading investors. 

In April this year, when the epidemic situation in Shanghai was severe, local people received “Lianhua Qingwen” medicine issued by the central authorities. Lilac Garden’s online platform published an article that said, “Don’t consume Lianhua Qingwen to prevent the new COVID.” It pointed out that this therapy cannot prevent the COVID variant and may also bring side effects. Once the article was released, the share price of “Yiling Pharmaceutical,” Lianhua Qingwen producer and one of China’s most prominent traditional medicine companies, fell sharply.

In recent years, The Chinese regime has increasingly promoted traditional medicine inside and outside the country, often with nationalistic undertones.

However, the specific use of Lianhua Qingwen for the current virus has not been effectively confirmed. Experts in many countries emphasize that there is still a lack of scientific evidence to show its effectiveness.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had not approved Lianhua Qingwen and that coronavirus-related claims were “not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.”

It’s hard to imagine that at the peak of the severe epidemic in Shanghai, the authorities sent Lianhua Qingwen to the citizens. 

Some analysts believe that the reason for the ban on Lilac Garden may be related to criticism of the “dynamic zeroing” policy and questioning the control and prevention of the epidemic in Hainan and Tibet.

It’s been almost three years since the COVID epidemic began to spread worldwide. The lowest estimates show that the virus has killed nearly 6 million people. Most countries have accepted the concept of “coexistence with the virus.” Although the virus is still raging, people from all over the world returned to everyday life. However, China has been doing it differently with its Zero-Covid policy. 

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