Micro-blogger in court charged with spreading rumors

Updated: 2014-08-14 10:12

By CAO YIN(chinadaily.com.cn)

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A popular Chinese micro-blogger went on trial on Thursday for allegedly spreading rumors to attract followers and helping others delete posts for profit.

Yang Xiuyu, founder of Erma Co and with the online identity Lier Chaisi, was accused of illegal business operations after receiving 531,200 yuan ($86,312) for helping people remove Internet posts and publish rumors, according to Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court.

Yang, 41, from Northeast China's Jilin province, was charged with running the illegal operation between May 2012 and September 2013, the court said.

Lu Mei, one of Yang's employees responsible for the media department, also stood trial on the same charges.

Lu, 31, from Hunan province, allegedly sought about 220,200 yuan after she deleted some online posts, the court said.

Prosecutors formally arrested the pair in September 2013, saying they had disturbed market order.

The trial, open to the public via the court's official micro blog on Sina Weibo, China's largest Twitter-like platform, continues.

In April, the court sentenced Qin Zhihui, better known by his online alias, Qin Huohuo, to three years in prison for defamation and causing trouble.

Qin, 30, from Hunan province, was the first man to be sentenced after spreading rumors on the Internet damaging the reputation of celebrities.