China: Bloomberg News Beijing bureau staff member detained over suspicion of national security

Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen who has worked for the Bloomberg News Beijing bureau since 2017, has been detained by Chinese authorities on suspicion of endangering national security. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the Chinese authorities to release Fan immediately and drop any imminent charges against her.

Haze Fan. Credit: Twitter

On December 7, Fan was detained by plain clothes officials from her apartment in Beijing, according to Bloomberg. The news organization later learnt that Fan is alleged to have participated in activities endangering national security.

“We are deeply concerned for her well-being,” Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said in an interview. “We are continuing to do everything we can to support her while we seek more information,” a Bloomberg spokesperson said in a separate statement. 

Fan has previously worked for a number of foreign news outlets operating in China, such as CNBC, CBS News, Al Jazeera, and Thomson Reuters. Fan’s Twitter account, which was last updated in 2018, reveals herself as a reporter for Bloomberg News, but foreign news companies in China can only hire Chinese citizens as assistants through personnel service companies designated by the Chinese Foreign Ministry or its affiliated agencies.

The IFJ said: “The arrest of Haze Fan lacks justification and reflects the Chinese authorities have increasingly targeted foreign news organizations operating in China. The IFJ urges the Chinese authorities to release Fan immediately and drop any imminent charges against her.” 

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For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on [email protected]

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram