Date
27 May 2017
Wang Xiaolu (inset) was paraded on state TV Monday, reading a confession that his sensational reporting had contributed to the recent market turbulence in China. Photos: sohu.com, CNSA
Wang Xiaolu (inset) was paraded on state TV Monday, reading a confession that his sensational reporting had contributed to the recent market turbulence in China. Photos: sohu.com, CNSA

China journalist ‘confesses’ to fueling stock market panic

A mainland journalist has admitted to stoking panic and disorder in China’s stock market, according to a “confession” aired on state broadcaster CCTV on Monday.

Wang Xiaolu, who works for leading financial publication Caijing, said he obtained some information from untrustworthy sources and published a news story, adding his own subjective views to give a distorted picture.

His sensational reporting “brought great harm upon the country and investors”, he said.

According to Ming Pao Daily, Wang was placed under detention since August 25 on charges of spreading false information related to the securities and futures market.

In a story published on July 20, Wang suggested that some government funds were preparing to withdraw from the market.

A-shares plummeted that day, forcing the China Securities Regulatory Commission to come out and clarify that the report was untrue.

The regulator said it was irresponsible on the part of media to publish a story without proper verification.

In his confession read on camera, Wang said “he was very sorry for his actions” and that he was willing to “come clean on the crime he has committed”.

He urged the law enforcement agencies to be lenient on him for the mistake.

Wang stressed that he should not have produced a news story that would pose huge market risks at a volatile moment.

“I should not have created huge losses for the country and stockholders for a moment of fame and attention.”

Apart from Wang, Chinese authorities have detained eight officials from CITIC Securities on August 25 for suspected role in the market turbulence.

Meanwhile, some observers say that Wang is being made a scapegoat and that the problems behind China’s market crash lie elsewhere.

Legal professionals also point out that it is inappropriate that a defendant is made admit to a crime even before the matter is put to a court.

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