Date
21 August 2017
Chinese authorities have shut down many websites and punished several people for spreading 'false information'. Photo: Bloomberg
Chinese authorities have shut down many websites and punished several people for spreading 'false information'. Photo: Bloomberg

China cracks down on online ‘rumor-mongers’

Chinese authorities have tightened internet controls further by cracking down on what the state media dubbed as online rumor-mongers and websites that spread false information.

A court in southwestern Yunnan province has sentenced two people for “fabricating and spreading online rumors for economic gain”, Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Authorities in the provincial capital Kunming sentenced Dong Rubin, who uses the online name “Bianmin”, to six-and-a-half years in prison and fined him 350,000 yuan for illegal business operations.

Dong’s accomplice, Hou Peng, received a three-year jail term with a reprieve over the same charge, according to the verdict. Hou was also fined 50,000 yuan.

The report said Dong and Hou were convicted of fabricating blog posts at the request of business clients from March 2011 to May 2013.

Dong was also convicted of “creating disturbances” by posting false information and comments about the Mekong River attack, in which 13 sailors were murdered in October 2011 by a Myanmar drug ring, the report said, adding that Dong was planning to lodge an appeal.

Meanwhile, authorities have launched a nationwide crackdown on those spreading online rumors. As part of the new campaign, the government has shut down 43 websites and punished 37 so-called rumor-mongers. The campaign is a joint effort of the National Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Public Security.

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JZ/MY/RC

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