Zi Beijia

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Police arrested Zi after he allegedly fabricated a July 8 story about the sale of steamed buns stuffed with cardboard. Ten days after the report aired, Beijing TV apologized for the story and said that it was an invention. The Xinhua News Agency said Zi confessed, although a number of local journalists told CPJ that they believed the report to be factual and Zi to be innocent.

On August 12, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court sentenced Zi to a year in prison for the unusual crime of “infringing on the reputation of a commodity.” Zi’s arrest came amid widespread international reports about food and product safety defects in China. After the arrest, CPJ research found that domestic news reports about consumer safety were noticeably tamer.