China Central Television’s Twitter account caused a stir on Monday when it announced a graft investigation into Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of the Communist Party Standing Committee and its long-time security tsar. Within minutes, the momentous tweet was deleted.
CCTVNEWS Statement pic.twitter.com/B0iinrjXvt
— CCTVNEWS (@cctvnews) October 22, 2013
The CCTV tweet followed a report by the South China Morning Post earlier in the day revealing that President Xi Jinping had formed a special task force to pursue the high-profile case. Chinese media have not reported on an investigation into Zhou and access to the Post’s website was blocked in the country on Monday.
CCTV said in a statement on Tuesday that its Twitter account “was targeted on October 21 and used illegally to post incorrect information copied from other sources. The unauthorised information was deleted.”
The Post has reported exclusively on a decision taken by Xi at the Beidaihe leadership retreat in August to pursue the investigation into allegations of corruption.
Dozens of senior officials in his former power bases, Sichuan province and the China National Petroleum Corporation, including the province’s Deputy Party Secretary Li Chuncheng and the state-owned oil and gas giant’s former head Jiang Jiemin, are being investigated on corruption charges, state media have said.
CCTV could not be reached for comment on Tuesday morning.