Central Senior Level Orders to Crackdown On
21st Century Network, Says Hong Kong Media.
21st Century Network under the Southern Media Group
in Guangzhou has been under rectification recently.
A number of top executives and journalists
are being investigated.
Analysis says similar cases of “news extortion" are very
common in the industry in China.
Hong Kong media exposes that it’s under orders of the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) high level to pick on
the 21st Century Network, and to crack down on the
Southern Media Group.
Since Southern Media Group has been outspoken for years,
the CCP’s central propaganda department deleted its new
year greeting message through Guangdong Propaganda
Department director, Tuo Zhen.
This is according to Hong Kong media Mingpao, quoting
inside sources in Beijing, on Sept. 19.
Southern Weekly and Southern Metropolis Daily have been
less outspoken since then.
However the central propaganda unit isn’t satisfied, and
has targeted 21st Century Network.
The Beijing source indicated that the CCP’s public security
got criminal evidence of the 21st Century Network.
Through Shanghai Politics and Law Committee, it sent five
media i.e. CCTV and Xinhua to do investigative reports.
The arrested executives and journalists from 21st Century
Network confessed on TV about how they extorted money
from big companies and IPO enterprises, before going
through trials in court.
Hua Po, political commentator in Beijing, “they went through
Shanghai Politics and Law Committee because the public
security system does a good job implementing suppression
over the internet.
The Shanghai Politics and Law Committee is obedient,
and it has support from central high levels."
The report says the information about a program of Xinhua
being leaked and that the license of the 21st Century will be
withdrawn is actually intentionally released by the central
special task force, to shock Southern Media Group.
The Southern Media Group once requested help from the
central high level, but it was obstructed.
The Southern Media Group is likely to face more restrictions
on reporting content and business running, the report says.
Hua Po, “there are people at the central high level in charge
of the issue… Shanghai police arrested people in another
province which shows it must be supported and ordered by
people at central high level."
Shanghai police arrested eight people at the 21st Century
Network on Sept. 3.
They included its chief editor alleged for “news extortion,"
along with two PR companies, some editors, reporters,
and management personnel of the website who extorted
dozens of big enterprises to advertise on the website.
They threatened to report negative news about the
companies if they refused.
Bei Feng, promoter of Chinese new media, “Chinese
websites, especially commercial ones, use negative
news to get advertisements as an extremely common
tactic. Almost all the organizations do this.
If the authorities identify it as extortion, they just say so,
but such ways are very common."
Ma Xiaoming, former journalist at Shanxi Television, “the
CCP finds fault by using so-called rules and disciplines.
It’s the way to crackdown on outspoken media.
Another way is to find fault with individual reporters in their
daily lives or work, to threaten them not to expose the truth."
Oversea Chinese newspaper Epoch Times says the 21st
Century Network exposed many corruption insider stories
of Jiang Zemin’s faction which led to a revenge attack.
The 21st Century Network exposed the bribes and financial
fraud case of Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding under the
State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration
Commission of Shanghai Municipal Government.
It also exposed the corruption and transfer of benefits of
China Science Group system controlled by Jiang Jinheng.
Jiang Jinheng is the son of Jiang Zemin.
On Aug. 21, the 21st Century Business Herald under
21st Century Network also reported that Tianjin Bohai
commodity exchange controls the price of pseudo-ginseng,
The report says the company involved in controlling the
pseudo-ginseng price is owned by Cai Chengju.
Cai is a relative of Politburo member Zhang Gaoli,
an ally of Jiang’s faction.
The information of disbanding the 21st Century Network
has attracted focus concern of Chinese netizens.
“If it’s legal to disband the 21st Century Network for paid
news, the CCTV should be disbanded."
Netizen Tsinghua Qinpeng, identified as former director
of Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University
in Zhejiang, made these remarks on Chinese social
Interview & Edit/Zhu Zhishan ChenHna Post-Production/ChenJie