Beijing, Oct. 17 (Reuters): Police in China have arrested an influential blogger and are holding a cartoonist in a widening crackdown on online “rumour-mongering”, friends and a lawyer for one of them said today.
Hundreds of people have been detained since August, say Chinese media and rights groups, as the government has stepped up its campaign to banish rumours.
Most have been released, but some are still being held on criminal charges.
The moves targeting the bloggers appear to suggest the new government, led by President Xi Jinping, is expanding its crackdown on dissent, although some critics have warned the move could backfire on Communist Party leaders.
Dong Rubin, 51, who runs an Internet consulting company, has been arrested in southwestern Kunming on “suspicion of falsely declaring the capital in his company’s registration”. State broadcaster CCTV showed images of Dong admitting to “exaggeration and selectively publishing information” to benefit clients.