March 31, 2012
BEIJING— China has shut down websites, made a string of arrests and punished two popular microblogs after rumors of a coup linked to a major political drama that led to the fall of a rising star.
Authorities closed 16 websites for spreading rumors of “military vehicles entering Beijing and something wrong going on in Beijing,” the official Xinhua news agency said late Friday, citing the state Internet information office.
Six people were arrested, while the country’s two most popular microblogs, run by Sina.com and Tencent, said they would stop web users from posting comments until Tuesday after being criticized by the authorities.
The crackdown follows a surge in online rumors about a coup led by security chief Zhou Yongkang, following the March dismissal of rising political star Bo Xilai.