Detained Chinese-American venture capitalist Charles Xue, known for making controversial remarks on social and political issues, told state broadcaster CCTV and the official Xinhua news agency that “freedom of speech cannot override the law”.
“My irresponsibility in spreading information online was a vent of negative mood, and was a neglect of the social mainstream,” Xue said.
Xue was arrested in late August on charges of soliciting prostitutes, though it soon became clear that his detention has more to do with the ongoing campaign against ‘rumour mongers’ being waged by the police and state media.
In an interview with Xinhua, Xue echoed the new anti-free speech policies announced this month, saying that he didn’t realise the “danger” of retweeting others’ statements.
“On one side it saved time and on the other side I thought I would not be held responsible as I was not the original writer,” Xue said.
It is unclear what Xue’s punishment will be, though some commentators have predicted that he could face serious prison time.
[Image via CCTV]