Social media celebrity detained for procuring prostitute

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-26 1:03:01

A Chinese social media celebrity has been put under administrative detention in Beijing for hiring a prostitute, the capital's public security bureau said in a statement Sunday.

Xue Manzi, 60, a Sina Weibo celebrity also known as Charles Xue, was detained on Friday along with the 22-year-old prostitute surnamed Zhang from Henan Province. Xue, whose real name is Xue Biqun, is an American citizen.

"The two of them candidly confessed to what they did," the statement said, adding that the detention came after a tip-off from someone in the residential compound where Xue and Zhang met.

Xue Manzi, who currently has over 12 million Weibo followers, has advocated for critical illness insurance in China, initiated a campaign to track down trafficked children and has called for transparent details on pollution in the country.

Xue, also known for aggressive online talks, is widely speculated to be involved in reposting multiple rumors fabricated by Qin Huohuo, who was put in criminal detention on August 19 for "provoking trouble" and illegal business operation.

Xue is an investor in the E-marketing company Creaty China, where Qin used to work, the Beijing Times reported.

The detention of Xue has aroused public debate as many wondered if this was a lesson for those online "opinion leaders" in a crackdown launched to manage cyberspace.

Liu Dalai, a lawyer from the Beijing Lianggao Law Firm, told the Global Times that those who are suspected of soliciting prostitutes would face a fine up to 5,000 yuan ($817) and detention for 15 days.

Hong Daode, a professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, said Xue would be re-educated and then deported.

Liu added that Xue's nationality will not affect the judgment, but he will not be deported for the administrative punishment he received.

"However, I don't think the police will hold him up for long," Liu said, pointing out that it is hard for ordinary people to report prostitution.

Editorial: Xue’s case reminder to opinion leaders

Posted in: Society

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