Two top executives of 21st Century Media have been placed under investigation by the Shanghai police after some reporters and editors from affiliate website 21cbh.com were arrested for blackmail, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday, citing unidentified sources.
Shen Hao, chief executive officer of 21st Century Media and founder of the 21st Century Business Herald newspaper, and Chen Dongyang, general manager of the media company, were taken away by police from their offices in Guangzhou Thursday afternoon, the report said.
A witness told the paper that at around 2 pm yesterday, a group of Shanghai policemen suddenly made their way into the offices of Shen and Hao. After a brief stand-off, the police took the duo away for “assisting in the investigation”, according to the report.
Following this development, parent Nanfang Media Group’s party committee held an urgent meeting and decided to remove Shen from the party secretary post at 21st Century Business Herald, the paper said. A person named Wang Yijun is said to be the replacement.
Separately, a source was quoted as saying that the Beijing office of 21st Century Business Herald was also searched by police and that officers took away some contract documents, accounting bills and computers.
21cbh.com has been accused of demanding high “fees” from companies in exchange for positive coverage. Firms that refused to give cash were threatened with negative coverage, forcing them to eventually yield to the extortion, according to authorities.
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