(From AFP)

Chinese Communist officials will impose “severe” penalties on a property tycoon who criticized overbearing state control of the media to his tens of millions of online followers, the official Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday.

Ren Zhiqiang

Ren Zhiqiang, nicknamed “the Cannon”, developed a huge audience — he had 37 million followers on Sina Weibo alone — with his provocative opinions and blunt defences of economic inequality.

But he has been subjected to a barrage of condemnation in state-run outlets since he questioned whether public money should be spent on party propaganda following visits by President Xi Jinping to three major official media outlets.

Ren is himself a member of the ruling party but his Chinese social media accounts have been closed and Xinhua cited a circular from a Beijing party committee as saying he will be strictly punished and receive severe internal penalties. Read More

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