If "privately gathering information" and then adding a "subjective judgment" sounds a lot like good journalism, it is. Wang's crime appears to be publishing accurate information on a matter of public interest — but without a go-ahead from the government.
In a July 20 story in Caijing, Wang wrote that the China Securities and Regulatory Commission (CSRC) was weighing whether to stop stabilizing share prices. The CSRC denied the report the day it was published, calling it "irresponsible."
More than a month later, with the CSRC indeed taking a more hands-off approach, and Chinese markets experiencing another precipitous drop, Wang was detained for spreading "false information."
Reporters Without Borders condemned Wang's detention and called for his release. "Suggesting that a business journalist was responsible for the spectacular fall in share prices is a denial of reality, "said Christophe Deloire, the group's secretary-general, according to a statement published on its Web site.
"Blaming the stock market crisis on a lone reporter is beyond absurd.”
Gu Jinglu reported from Beijing.