Business Watch Magazine (商务周刊), a weekly business magazine published by the Economic Information Research Institute of Xiamen [See China Media Map], was recently suspended for one month for “propaganda discipline violations” (违反宣传纪律) and “false reporting” (失实) for a report it ran more than a year ago on problems with China’s electrical power grid and its control by state monopolies.
It is not uncommon for publication suspensions to be delayed in this way, one media veteran told CMP, but “the decision to implement the suspension now probably has something to do with the tense atmosphere [for the press] more recently.”
[ABOVE: Last year’s power grid issue of Business Watch Magazine, the cause of its suspension this month.]
Writer Zan Aizong reported on Twitter earlier this month that Business Watch Magazine editor and former Lifeweek reporter Gao Yu (高昱) had confirmed the magazine’s suspension. Zan said the magazine would possibly be re-launched as an academic periodical and its name changed.
Business Watch Magazine, which was launched in 2000, has published for more than a decade, but it is no stranger to suspension for discipline violations. In 2004, the magazine was suspended for two months for a report on politics in the city of Tianjin.
In a notice to readers published on the magazine’s website in May last year, it said: “On May 4, 2010, Business Watch Magazine received a document from news and publishing authorities saying that our publication was to be suspended for one month and would face reorganization (整顿) as a result of our report “The Empire of the National Power Grid” (国网帝国), which [the notice said] ‘violated propaganda discipline and relevant publishing regulations, made public material from internal references, and created a negative influence’, and which ‘at points was seriously at odds with the facts, doing harm to the legal rights and benefits of the units [state-run websites] concerned.'”