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Man confesses in first public trial in China's rumour crackdown: Xinhua

Published on Apr 11, 2014 4:00 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - A popular internet microblogger confessed in court to spreading rumours about the Chinese government, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, in the first public trial since China began cracking down on online rumours last year.

Rights advocates say China's campaign to quash online rumours, which began last summer, is tantamount to crushing free expression. The government says the crackdown is necessary to preserve social stability.

Online rumours are particularly pervasive in China, where traditional media is heavily regulated by the government and public trust in the media is low.

Qin Zhihui invented a story that the Chinese government gave 200 million yuan (S$40 million) in compensation to the family of a foreign passenger killed in a high-speed train crash in 2011, Xinhua said.

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