Chinese paper urges release of journalist who reported provincial company's financial problems

BEIJING, China – A Chinese newspaper made a rare front-page appeal for police to release one of its reporters after he was detained for writing reports alleging financial misdeeds at a large construction equipment company.

The New Express newspaper on Wednesday said there was no evidence the journalist, Chen Yongzhou, had committed any crime.

The paper says Chen was being punished for a series of reports he wrote that scrutinized the finances of Zoomlion, a construction company listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges.

Police in the Hunan provincial capital, Changsha, said on its official microblog that the journalist had been detained for alleged “damage to business reputation.”

Zoomlion is the second-largest construction equipment maker in China whose largest shareholder is the Hunan provincial government.

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