The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed frustration at the blocking of the official website of the financial news organisation Bloombergwithin China by the country’s authorities in apparent retaliation for the publication of an article which referred to the assets of the relatives of China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping.
On June 29, an article with the title “Xi Jinping Millionaire Relations Reveal Fortunes Of Elite” was published on Bloomberg’s website. The report revealed that Xi’s extended family have millions of dollars of assets. Although the article clearly states that there is no indication that any of assets are owned by Xi or his immediate family, Bloomberg’s official website and the Business Week were blocked by China’s authorities immediately following the article’s publication.
“The overreaction of China’s authorities in this case reveals that the understanding of press freedom by China’s leaders still has a lot of room for improvement”, IFJ Asia-Pacific Office said.
“Although Xi is widely tipped to become the next President of China, the media should not be prevented for reporting on matters directly or indirectly related to him or his family”.
IFJ urges China’s authorities to lift the blocking of the Bloomberg and Business Week websites, and ensure that other websites are allowed to publish freely without fear of censorship.
In recent years, an increasing number of overseas media have launched Chinese language versions of their websites. Although largely welcomed by professional and educated Chinese, obstacles have been encountered. For example, it is reported that the New York Times Chinese language website has so far been refused permission to open an account on Weibo, China’s most popular blogging platform. No reason for the refusal has been given.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
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