Websites shut amid China coup talk

Websites shut amid China coup talk

China has closed down more than a dozen websites, penalising two popular social media sites and detaining six people for circulating rumours of a coup which rattled Beijing in the midst of its worst high-level political crisis in years.

The announcement by official media said the internet companies and individuals are being punished for fabricating and disseminating rumours that military vehicles had entered Beijing or that something had happened in the Chinese capital.

The Twitter-like services run by Sina Corporation and Tencent Holdings, which have more than 300 million users, say they are temporarily disabling their comment functions.

The punishments came after populist senior leader Bo Xilai was removed from his post two weeks ago, leading to speculation about divisions in the Communist Party leadership.

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