Authorities in Jiangxi province say they still lack sufficient evidence to detain the controversial celebrity qigong master Wang Lin and were discussing how to handle allegations against him, state media has reported.
The Luxi Health Bureau in Jiangxi told The Beijing News that it would hold a meeting to discuss the handling of Wang's case.
On Sunday, state-backed China Central Television aired two investigative news programmes calling Wang a phony and "a vulgar magician" who made a living "deluding celebrities and blinding the public".
Wang, 61, has long been regarded in Jiangxi as a "qigong master" who claims to heal cancer and other serious diseases with his supernatural abilities, which he acquired in the 1980s, the newspaper reported.
He became a talking point online this month when photos of him meeting with celebrities and senior officials emerged on the internet. Video clips circulated of Wang's performances in which he claims to use "will power" to move snakes into covered vessels or to control a steering wheel without touching it.
But CCTV said on Sunday that his techniques were nothing but "shoddy magic tricks", and accused Wang of defrauding his followers. Other mainland media have published reports suggesting that Wang lives an extravagant lifestyle, features luxury cars and large homes.
"It doesn't matter if my qigong is real or not, as long as it does not violate laws," Wang said in an interview with The Beijing News. He also denied the fraud allegations, saying he has never charged anyone for qigong performances.
"I wouldn't have millionaires … as my friends if I were such a shameless person," he said.