I'm reading the newspaper 人民日报 here in Beijing, and I stumbled upon the following:


人民日报, 27 September 2020 (enlarge)

I don't understand what 9月26日电9月26日 means. I originally thought it was a typo, but there are similar things online, e.g. here, here, and here. I guess the indicates an electronic version of the article in question, but I don't really know.

Question: What does 9月26日电9月26日 mean?

Google Translate just gives "September 26, September 26".

1 Answer 1


The bolded text is the organization and time indicator and the second line, which is not bolded, is the real start of the main body. They are not connected.

9月26日电 means the message is sent on Sept 26th by 电报 "telegraphy". It is an old expression when telegraphy was the fastest method for sending messages. But as "Telegraphy" in general includes the internet, the expression is still in use.

  • 3
    old expressions are fun. Does anyone still say 撥號碼 (on a rotary phone) when most telephones nowadays are using touch-tone button?
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 5:11
  • 1
    'Internet' should have been 電網 really Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 10:45
  • @Tang Ho by all means! To dial a number has always been and still is 撥號 or 撥打電話號碼 in full. In mainland China, if you call a nonexistent number, you’d here precisely this: “您打的电话号码不存在……”。so yes to 拨 a number is still the way to say it.
    – dvx2718
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 0:40
  • @JohnFrazer Internet is 英特网 or 互联网, and 电网 is Power Grid, like 南方电网, 国家电网, they are State-owned companies Commented Jun 15, 2021 at 0:48

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