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Chinese Blogger confesses to “spreading rumours”

Defamation apparently

One of China's best known bloggers appeared in state media on Sunday to confess to spreading irresponsible internet posts. Under tough new laws, people will be charged with defamation if posts online that contain rumours are visited by 5,000 internet users or reposted more than 500 times. The rule could lead to three years in jail.

The Chinese arrested Chinese-American venture capitalist Charles Xue, known for making controversial remarks on social and political issues. He told state broadcaster CCTV and the official Xinhua news agency that "freedom of speech cannot override the law".

"My irresponsibility in spreading information online was a vent of negative mood, and was a neglect of the social mainstream," Xue said.

Xue had 12 million followers on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like microblog site. He was shown on state television in August after being detained on an accusation of visiting prostitutes.


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