A mainland property tycoon could be “forced to keep his mouth shut” after he criticized remarks by President Xi Jinping about the media, Apple Daily reported Tuesday, citing mainland media.
On a visit to state-run news agency Xinhua on Friday, Xi said “official media must strictly follow the government’s orders”.
Ren Zhiqiang, former chairman of Hua Yuan Property Co., who is known for his outspoken views, said on his Weibo account that Xi’s words were nonsense.
Questioning Beijing’s use of taxpayers’ money to serve the Communist Party, Ren said if the media only do their job in the best interests of the party, the interests of the people will be neglected.
21dnn.com, a website managed by the Beijing municipal government, slammed Ren on Monday for his anti-Communist Party comments, saying he is a spokesman for capitalism and it is only a matter of time before he will be forced to keep his mouth shut.
Xinhua management took no chances that anything might go wrong during Xi’s visit Friday.
It ordered all staff to be on high alert and tightened security, the Apple Daily report said.
A Weibo post, suspected to be from an employee of the news agency, said management selected 500 staff to welcome Xi.
Before he arrived, they all assembled in an auditorium on the premises and were asked to hand over their mobile phones and be subjected to security checks.
They were told to behave themselves, and each would receive a movie ticket and a restaurant coupon as a reward for his or her cooperation.
All the windows of the building were guarded by armed police.
Xinhua staff were told to stay away from windows to avoid being shot by snipers deployed by the security forces.
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