The recent censorship requests made by Chinese authorities to Western academic publishers have sent shockwaves throughout the academic world. This article examines the high-profile The China Quarterly incident as a case in point. Because the censorship is expected to be followed by similar demands to other publications, it is important for the academic community to explore the logic behind it. This research article provides a preliminary analysis of publications on the censorship list and compares them to uncensored articles on similar themes. This exercise allows us to draw important insights. Theoretically, this article makes an original contribution by going beyond the censorship within to outside China. Empirically, it offers a comprehensive analysis of what China wants to censor and the context for its actions.