Bloomberg News Employee Detained by Chinese Authorities

Beijing, Dec 11 (AFP/APP): China has detained a Bloomberg News employee on suspicion of endangering national security, the US news agency said Friday.

Haze Fan, a Chinese citizen, was taken from her home by plainclothes security officials on Monday, Bloomberg said, shortly after she was last in contact with one of her editors. China’s foreign ministry told AFP that “compulsory measures had recently been taken by the Beijing National Security Bureau against a Chinese citizen surnamed Fan on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities that jeopardise China’s national security,” using a term that can include arrest or detention among other measures.

The ministry said the case was “currently undergoing investigation and prosecution according to the law” when asked about Fan’s situation. Bloomberg said it was “very concerned for her” and was continuing to seek more information. Chinese citizens are forbidden by the government from working as reporters for foreign news organizations in China, but are allowed to work as news assistants. Fan, who joined Bloomberg in 2017, has been credited as a contributor on numerous business stories.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China said it was “very concerned” to learn of her detention. “The FCCC seeks clarity on why authorities detained Haze Fan,” it said in a statement. Her detention comes months after China detained a high-profile Chinese-born Australian journalist citing similar suspicions. Cheng Lei, a TV anchor at Chinese state-owned outlet CGTN, has not been seen in public since being held, with two other Australian reporters — Bill Birtles and Michael Smith — fleeing China shortly after her detention after being interrogated about Cheng.

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