(Adds repatriation of executive for porn charges)
SHANGHAI Aug 15 A Chinese businessman has
confessed to posting false information online and deleting
critical microblog posts for corporate clients, the official
Xinhua news service reported on Friday, as a government
crackdown on social media gathers pace.
The news agency said Yang Xiuyu, owner of media marketing
company Erma, who is on trial in Beijing, confessed to paying
staff to post false information and delete critical posts about
clients in exchange for more than 530,000 yuan ($86,000) between
2008 and 2013.
He also confessed to making scandalous online content to
advertise products and promote clients, including a video that
purportedly showed a monk cavorting with two women which became
an online sensation.
Many Chinese companies have proven willing to pay to
manipulate the media to protect their reputations and to slander
competitors, a business opportunity that has been exploited by
media firms, individual reporters and entrepreneurs like Yang.
Chinese financial regulators have also prosecuted
micro-bloggers for spreading online rumours about companies in
order to hurt their stock prices and create buying
The Chinese government itself deletes online posts it
considers overly critical, blocks the accounts of dissidents,
and hires microbloggers to post content favourable to
The crackdown on social media, which has included requiring
users to register public accounts on instant messaging tools
under their real names and the detention of hundreds of
outspoken microbloggers, has discouraged political discourse as
well as user registrations at messaging app companies.
The government says such moves are designed to prevent the
spread of rumours, stop crime and remove pornographic content
from the Internet.
In a separate report, Xinhua said a senior Internet
executive wanted on suspicion of spreading online pornography
had been repatriated to China.
Wang Xin, general manager of Shenzhen-based online video
service Qvod Technology Co., Ltd., fled China after the
government said in May it would punish the company for carrying
pornographic material, Xinhua said.
"After interrogation, Wang confessed to knowingly ignoring
pornographic videos stored on his company's servers for the sake
of profit," the report added.
It did not say to which country he had fled.
(1 US dollar=6.1520 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Pete Sweeney; Additional reporting by Ben
Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Jeremy Laurence and Clarence