Morning Click, August 14
Missing CCTV anchor suddenly reappears
CCTV anchor Zhao Pu returned to his live news program yesterday afternoon following his unexplained disappearance four months ago. On April 9, Zhao posted a warning to his microblog account against eating thickened yoghurt, which he wrote at the time had been contaminated with industrial gelatin. Among rumours surrounding Zhao's absence was the allegation that he his remarks inadvertently brought light to an ongoing investigation into the matter elsewhere at CCTV.
Motorola quietly begins layoffs
Yicai.com reports that a spokesperson for Motorola Mobility China confirmed yesterday that the company has begun plans to lay off 4,000 employees worldwide, or approximately 20 per cent of its workforce. Although the majority of layoffs will take place in the United States, downsizing plans also include the shuttering of Motorola's research centre in Beijing. No further details have yet been released, but one industry insider has indicated that many of Motorola's staff in China have chosen to resign of their own accord.
Wang Lijun has been tried in court, claims Hong Kong TV station
Hong Kong Cable TV (i-cable.com) reported yesterday afternoon that the trial of former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun took place yesterday morning at the Chengdu Intermediate People's Court. Wang is expected to be tried soon for treason due to his visit on February 6 this year to the US consulate in Chengdu, a move which led to the removal of Wang's close associate, Bo Xilai, from his position as Chongqing party secretary. Beijing-based New York Times employee Patrick Zuo then wrote on Twitter that the Chengdu court denied by telephone that Wang's trial took place. The Hong Kong Cable TV report, which suggests that the trial itself has been designated a state secret, is still online.
Anhui police bombing rumour leads to arrest
A Shanghai resident has been detained after claiming through his microblog account on Saturday afternoon that a bomb was detonated outside a Public Security Bureau building in Jieshou, Anhui province, resulting in the death of seven police officers with many more injured. The man, surnamed Xu, reportedly turned himself in the following day after writing that police had sealed off the entire city as they searched for the bomber.
Men trapped in Jilin mine
Thirteen men remain trapped below ground following a gas explosion at a mine located in Baishan, Jilin province, early yesterday morning. Nearly 100 workers were able to escape the site unharmed while four perished in the blast and four others were later rescued.
Online "science cop" leaves Sina Weibo in anger
Fang Zhouzi, the well-known crusader against academic and scientific fraud, announced yesterday his decision to cease updating his Sina Weibo microblog account. Earlier this month, an old dispute was rekindled between Fang and author and former sex columnist Muzi Mei on the online platform, escalating into abusive personal attacks from both sides. Fang says he finds Sina's subsequent decision to dock him 5 "credibility points", while docking Muzi 10, unacceptable, and justification for his decision to abandon his 4 million Sina Weibo "followers" for a fresh start on the microblog platform operated by Sina competitor Sohu.com.