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Three Chinese newspapers lose licenses


12:59, June 05, 2013

BEIJING, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Three newspapers have had their publication licenses revoked or had their operations suspended due to legal violations, authorities said Tuesday.

Shopping Guidance Weekly lost its license and was ordered to stop publishing in May after its staff became embroiled in a blackmail scandal, according to a statement from the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

An investigation showed that 11 of the paper's employees obtained press passes using fake documents. Li Deyong, one of the paper's employees, also blackmailed organizations by claiming that they had broken the law themselves. The money he obtained was transferred to a shell company operated by the paper's vice president, according to the investigation.

The 11 employees have lost their press cards and prosecutors are handling cases involving Li and several others, according to the statement.

In a second case, the Herald Network lost its publication license after being accused of allowing its advertising personnel to engage in reporting using illegally obtained press card.

In the third case, China Special Native Product has been accused of blackmail and releasing falsified stories.

In April, the administration ordered the paper to suspend its operations and rectify its conduct before making any management decisions, according to the statement.

The administration has set up hotlines for soliciting public tips, as well as vowed to strengthen investigations and punishments for unethical and illegal journalism practices.

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