Beijing: Three official newspaper in China have been ordered to be closed on charges of legal violations.
`Shopping Guidance Weekly`, the `Herald Network` and `China Special Native Product` have had their publication licences revoked or had their operations suspended due to legal violations, authorities said today.
Shopping Guidance Weekly lost its license and was ordered to stop publishing in May after its staff became embroiled in a blackmail scandal, according to a statement from the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
An investigation showed that 11 of the paper`s employees obtained press passes using fake documents.
Li Deyong, one of the paper`s employees, also blackmailed organisations by claiming that they had broken the law themselves.
The money he obtained was transferred to a shell company operated by the paper`s vice president, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The 11 employees have lost their press cards and prosecutors are handling cases involving Li and several others, an official statement said.
In a second case, the Herald Network lost its publication license after being accused of allowing its advertising personnel to engage in reporting using illegally obtained press card.
In the third case, China Special Native Product has been accused of blackmail and releasing falsified stories.
In April, the administration ordered the paper to suspend its operations and rectify its conduct before making any management decisions, according to the statement.
The administration has set up hotlines for soliciting public tips, as well as vowed to strengthen investigations and punishments for unethical and illegal journalism practices.