Four editorial staff at a Chinese news agency have been suspended from duty after a typographical error in a report accidentally referred to President Xi Jinping's speech at a China-Africa summit in Johannesburg as his resignation. The originally version of a report filed on Friday by the China News Service - an official service that has a status similar to that of Xinhua - referred to Xi saying in his "resignation" that China and Africa had a shared destiny in their histories. Some news websites failed to notice the mistake and published the report with the error. But by yesterday most of the online reports had corrected the mistake. The error happened only two days after Xinhua misspelled US President Barack Obama's name in its Chinese translation as "Ao Ma Ba" in a report about him meeting Xi. Many newspapers left the error referring to Obama uncorrected and published the report unchanged. In accordance with an order issued by the Communist Party's propaganda department, major news reports, especially stories involving state leaders, should always be published using official news-agency reports. "Resignation" is pronounced and spelled ci zhi in pinyin, Putonghua's phonics system, while "speech" is pronounced as zhi ci . The report was filed by Ouyang Kaiyu and Song Fangcan, who is the chief of the agency's South Africa bureau, according to his Weibo account. The Hong Kong-based Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said two reporters and two editors had been suspended because of the mistake. The chief editor's office at the agency would not verify the suspensions when contacted by telephone. A veteran editor at a mainland state newspaper said such a typographical error would be considered a serious blunder and many people, including reporters and editors of different levels, would be implicated. But any punishment would not be severe. "Some people will receive a warning and might be suspended from work for a while to show to the propaganda department that they take such a mistake very seriously," the editor said. "After a while, when the incident is forgotten, they will be able to resume their duties." In 2010 the party mouthpiece People's Daily misspelled then-premier Wen Jiabao as "Wen Jiashi". Bao and shi look similar in Chinese and the mistake was introduced when the report was being typed in Chinese characters. Wen called the newspaper and said he understood the mistake was made because of Chinese input and insisted that nobody to be punished. An editor at the newspaper later said it had made a verbal apology.