Rui Chenggang, the so-called star news anchor at China’s state broadcaster known for his smug nationalistic sentiment, was hauled off from his workplace by prosecutors on Friday evening and detained shortly before he was meant to go on air, state media have reported.
Rui was taken into custody just an hour or so before the start of the high-profile CCTV financial program “Economic News”, which his co-host Xie Yingying presented alone.
The business journalist’s detainment comes just a month after that of Guo Zhenxi and Tian Liwu, the director and producer, respectively, of CCTV’s financial news channel. The pair were taken in by authorities on June 1 for investigation under suspicion of bribery.
Several other senior figures at the channel were also implicated, CNN said, although 37-year-old Rui denied last month that he was under investigation via a post to his Weibo account. According to local outlet Beijing Evening News, allegations against Rui claim that his family ran a “PR firm” that charged guests, even foreign leaders, for CCTV airtime.
Rui’s detention is yet another amid Xi Jinping’s widening war against corruption, launched shortly after he became head of the Communist Party in late 2012. The campaign vowed to take down high-ranking “tigers” down to lowly “flies” and has effectively seen the capture of at least 30 of the former since Xi took power, according to Xinhua.