Probe elicits slew of market slump confessions

Chinese state media yesterday announced a slew of confessions following probes into recent stock market gyrations, including from a detained reporter who admitted to spreading false information that caused “panic and disorder”.

An official from China’s securities regulator had confessed to insider trading while four senior executives from China’s largest brokerage, CITIC Securities, had also confessed to insider dealing, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China is trying to boost its stock markets, which have plunged 40% since mid-June on fears over the slowing economy and an unexpected devaluation of the yuan currency in mid-August.

Among a number of measures, authorities have cracked down on the fabrication of trading information, alleged malicious short selling and other strategies seen as hampering a recovery.

Xinhua said Wang Xiaolu, a reporter at the respected Caijing business magazine, had confessed to writing about the Chinese stock market “based on hearsay and his own subjective guesses” that “inflicted huge losses on the country and investors”.

In a statement last Wednesday, a day after Xinhua said Wang was being held, Caijing said it had not been given a reason for his detention, adding it would support his actions within the normal course of reporting.

It was unclear if Wang had a lawyer. Chinese state media often publish confessions of those detained in high-profile cases before they are tried in court, a practice that rule of law advocates say violates the rights of the accused to due process.

Xinhua also said Liu Shufan, an official with the China Securities Regulatory Commission, had confessed to insider trading, forging official seals and using his position to boost a listed company’s share price in return for several million yuan worth of bribes.


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