By Yining Su
Image credit: NS News.
The Wall Street Journal revealed that it has been investigated by the US Justice Department over claims that its China bureau bribed Chinese officials with gifts for information in the Bo Xilai story.
The Journal says it has not found any evidence to support those claims, and instead believes that the allegations are part of an attack by Chinese officials:
According to U.S. and corporate officials, News Corp. has told the Justice Department that some company officials suspect the informant was an agent of the Chinese government, seeking to disrupt and possibly retaliate against the Journal for its reporting on China’s leadership.
News Corp, the Journal’s parent company, has been under investigations since 2011 in the US and the UK over the high profile phone hacking scandal in which the company’s UK newspapers are alleged to have hacked the voicemail of celebrities and politicians, and bribed public officials there for information, along with numerous other misdeeds.
The allegation surfaced at a time when the Journal’s computers were under attack by what Americans officials have determined were Chinese hackers. That is one reason the Journal said it was convinced that the informant was working for the Chinese government.
The allegations of gifts in China went beyond the typical meals or drinks shared by reporters and officials and included lavish entertainment and travel, according to people familiar with the matter.
It’s unclear whether the case is still open.