Eight people accused of extorting money from companies in return for favorable coverage were detained on Wednesday following investigation carried out by Shanghai police.
The editor in chief of the website for The 21st Century Business Herald (www.21cbh.com), a Guangzhou-based newspaper, and his colleague are accused of joining up with employees from two PR firms and blackmailing companies with threats of negative coverage, Xinhua said. The suspects exchanged positive coverage for money or advertising contracts, according to the report, earning them some big bucks. Employees at the two unnamed PR firms were also detained.
The 21st Century Business Herald confirmed in a statement that “a few” of its staff members had been been escorted away by police, Sinosphere reports.
CCTV last night aired footage of the related arrests. The publication under scrutiny said it would cooperate with investigation being carried out by police officers from Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong province and Hunan province.