Story that Wen Family made Fortunes since 1992 Causes News Website to Be Censored
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/30/2012 -- The Chinese government has reportedly blocked online searching relating to a recent New York Times article that suggests that the nation’s premier had used his government connections to help family members amass a fortune over the last decade.
Search results for “New York Times” in Chinese were reportedly blocked last Friday after the paper published the report revealing that many of Wen’s family members had become millionaires since he took office a decade ago.
China’s most popular search engine, Baidu, displayed the message “some results cannot be displayed” when searching for Wen’s name or that of his family members’.
The New York Times launched a Chinese-language version of its website this past summer that was, “designed to bring New York Times journalism to China, according to a press release by the company. This website, and its English counterpart, were unavailable to Chinese internet users last Friday.
The report that set off the censors reported that Wen’s family now controlled assets worth over $2.6 billion, according to regulatory filings obtained by the newspaper from 1992 to present-day.
The report embarrassed Wen and censorship efforts may be a way to salvage his image as a humble statesman fighting corruption, an issue that frustrates many Chinese citizens.
Investments by Wen’s son, wife, and others connected to the Chinese premiere, have been estimated to be worth nearly $2.7 billion, spread over a variety of industries like banking, telecommunications and jewelry.
Wen’s mother apparently owned $120 million of the massive Ping An insurance company in 2007. The insurance provider had made considerable gains in the years since Wen ascended to the premiership. They NYT report speculated that elderly matron may not have even been aware of the holdings.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei struck back at the newspaper soon after the website was blocked, saying that the Times had “ulterior motives” in publishing the story.
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