Minitrue: 21st Century Net Extortion Case

The following instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

This evening, Xinhua will issue a report on the latest details in the case of suspected news by 21st Century Net. Please strictly adhere to the Xinhua document in your coverage. Do not quote other sources. Also, all media are asked to pair coverage with editorial condemning 21st Century Net’s illegal behavior and firmly supporting the public security response. (September 11, 2014)

有关21世纪网涉嫌新闻敲诈案,新华社今天晚上将发布最新的案情进展报道,请各媒体严格按新华社稿件报道,不引用其他信源。同时,请各媒体配发评论,对21世纪网的不法行为予以谴责,对公安部门的打击行动坚决支持。

Eight people were arrested last week on suspicion of involvement in a scheme to extort businesses into paying for good press. 21st Century Net, a Chinese site linked to the , is accused of charging companies as much as 300,000 RMB (49,000 USD) to avoid negative reporting. In an appearance on CCTV, editor-in-chief Zhou Bin said the media group called this money a “protection fee.”

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.