China arrests over coup rumours
March 31, 2012
Chinese police have arrested six people and shut 16 websites after rumours were spread that military vehicles were on the streets of Beijing, officials say.
The web posts were picked up last week by media outlets around the world, amid uncertainty caused by the ouster of top political leader Bo Xilai.
The State Internet Information Office (SIIO) said the rumours had a “very bad influence on the public”.
Two popular microblogs have temporarily stopped users from posting comments.
The two sites, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, are still letting people post to their own sites. But they said commenting on other people’s posts would be disabled between 31 March and 3 April, so they “could act to stop the spread of rumours”.
A spokesman for the SIIO told state news agency Xinhua earlier that the two websites had been “criticised and punished accordingly”.
He added that that a number of other people had been “admonished or educated”.