Shanghai: publisher sentenced for four years over illegal paper

The Chinese regime's media censorship is becoming more tough than ever: a businessman was fined and imprisoned because he published a weekly, "creating serious disruption on the market".

Shanghai (AsiaNews/SCMP) - A Shanghai businessman has been sentenced to four years in prison for illegally printing and publishing newspapers, state media said yesterday.

The Pudong New District People's Court jailed Zhu Yugui, general manager of the Shanghai Guiyi Tiancheng Culture Broadcasting Co, and fined him 4,000 yuan for publishing the World Weekly newspaper. The company was fined 40,000 yuan in February.

The court said the company violated "relevant laws and regulations on publishing and operating an unlawful business". The report said the court found Zhu's acts "caused serious disruption to the market" and he deserved a tough sentence.

Authorities in Shanghai twice raided Zhu's company in March last year and confiscated more than 20,000 copies of the newspaper. Despite the crackdown, Zhu continued to operate until this April, when inspectors again raided a printing plant in Shanghai and found a further 60,000 copies of World Weekly. The report said the newspapers were packed and ready to be sent to other provinces.

Zhu was detained during the raid and his company closed down. Four days after his arrest, Zhu confessed his crimes. Although Zhu was held during the raid, details of the case were not released until a month later.

According to earlier reports, Zhu published World Weekly for four years. They said Zhu used the name and registration number of a publication belonging to a newspaper in Jiangxi.

Shanghai officials have been cracking down on illegal publications since November, uncovering more than 80,000 suspect copies of newspapers and magazines.