Wang, a volunteer journalist for the independent human rights news website 64 Tianwang, was arrested on December 10, 2014, while photographing protesters near the Beijing headquarters of the state-run broadcasting agency China Central Television, according to news reports that cited Huang Qi, founder and editor of the website.
In April 2016, Wang was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison for "picking quarrels and provoking trouble." 64 Tianwang published what it described as a copy of the verdict. It said Wang "caused serious disruptions of online order" by posting "a large amount of information that is unconfirmed and defaming to the work of governmental agencies" in articles for 64 Tianwang and other websites. The court cited articles Wang wrote about protests and reports of Chinese police harassing, detaining, and beating protesters, according to 64 Tianwang.
In March 2014, Wang was detained by Chinese authorities after she and two other volunteer journalists published a report on 64 Tianwang about an attempted self-immolation and the defacing of a portrait in Tiananmen Square, news reports said. On that occasion she was held on suspicion of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" but released on bail about a month later, the reports said. She was not charged at the time.
Wang has a brain tumor and her condition has deteriorated in custody, according to Radio Free Asia. The Hong Kong-based group Chinese Human Rights Defenders, citing her lawyer, reported that she was beaten repeatedly by local police and force-fed after she staged hunger strikes to protest her mistreatment.
As of late 2017, Wang was being held at Jilin Women’s Prison in Jilin province. Wang’s mother Sun Yanhua told CPJ that Wang was taken to the prison’s hospital in October 2016. A 64 Tianwang volunteer told CPJ in late 2017 that Wang’s application for medical parole was rejected and that Wang is in poor health. CPJ was unable to determine Wang’s health status in late 2018. When CPJ called the Jilin City Public Security Bureau in September 2018, the officer who answered the phone immediately hung up at the mention of Wang’s name.