Despite their efforts to block information spreading about the Arab uprisings, anti-government protests have erupted in several cities. But an emphatic show of force by police in Shanghai quickly ended the protest.
It was a similar story in downtown Beijing where lines of police checked passers-by and warned away demonstrators.
A rash of detentions and censorship of online discussions have shown that the Communist Party is concerned about any challenge to its rule.
Residents in Hong Kong, however, enjoy a little more freedom. Some inspired by the so-called Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia took to the streets. Police soon ended the demonstration.
A call for protests a week ago brought out few people. But dozens of dissidents and human rights activists have reportedly been detained or warned to avoid any action which risks social stability.