Fake news concocted by Beijing Times sent bank stock price plunging


The Beijing News
April 15, 2009

Today’s Beijing News reprinted a Xinhua article about six newspapers that were found to have published fake news items and admonished recently by the media regulator GAPP.

Amongst Beijing’s major newspapers, The Beijing Times leads the list of fake news mongers for a story published on September 11 last year. The article was reported that the mainland bank Merchants Bank lost 10 billion Hong Kong dollar from its investment in the Hong Kong-based Wing Lung Bank.

The news sent the stock price of Merchants Bank plunging. The bank’s market value in the Mainland A-share market shrunk by 12.75 billion yuan the day the news was published and its price on the HK stock market also dropped 5.16%.

The Shanghai paper Oriental Morning Post was also found responsible for an unfounded report on October 14, which quoted an insider source stating that the government would take measures to save the stock market from gloom and predicting a strong rebound just around the corner. According to GAPP, the news “disrupted the order of the capital markets and caused serious consequences”.

On January 18, Qingdao Morning News ran a story titled “hunting the shark in the deep ocean” telling a story that China’s fleet heading for waters off Somalia was stalked by a submarine of unidentified origin and eventually forced it to surface. Though the newspaper didn’t specify the nationality of the submarine, it implies that it was a Indian Navy vessel. The news was later translated by the South China Morning Post. GAPP said that the article had caused negative impact on the image of China and the PLA.

Private Economy News is another publication that was warned for untruthfully reporting that a Harbin-based pharmaceutical company had produced large quantities of “fake medicine”.

One of the fake news items in the last was previously noted by Yangtse Evening News and in translation on Danwei: the Guangzhou-based New Express reported that a Korean historian named Piao Fenqing found that the pioneer of the Chinese revolution, Sun Yat-sen, had Korean blood.

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