Newspaper article International New York Times

Chinese Anchorman under Media Scrutiny ; Reports Say He Once Held Stock in Chinese Unit of American P.R. Firm

Newspaper article International New York Times

Chinese Anchorman under Media Scrutiny ; Reports Say He Once Held Stock in Chinese Unit of American P.R. Firm

Article excerpt

People's Daily posted on Twitter the accusation that Rui Chenggang held stock in a Chinese subsidiary of Edelman while the subsidiary was providing services to Mr. Rui's employer, China Central Television.

Since the Chinese state news media announced on Saturday that Rui Chenggang, a prominent television anchorman, had been detained and handed over to prosecutors, there has been rampant speculation over what suspected crimes might have led to the inquiry.

On Monday, People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, gave at least a partial answer, when it posted on Twitter the accusation that Mr. Rui held stock in a Chinese subsidiary of Edelman, the large American public relations firm, while the subsidiary was providing services to Mr. Rui's employer, China Central Television, or CCTV.

People's Daily did not give further details, but the post appeared to confirm the central point of an article published online Sunday by Tencent, an Internet media company. The article said that in 2002, Mr. Rui and a business partner, Cao Gang, started a public relations company, Pegasus Communications, which was bought by Edelman in 2007. By November 2009, Edelman had an 84 percent stake in the company, while Mr. Rui had 7.9 percent and Mr. Cao had 8.1 percent.

The Tencent report said that in the same year, Pegasus provided services to CCTV 2, the financial news channel of CCTV, which broadcasts Mr. Rui's evening show, "Economic News." Pegasus found a studio for CCTV 2 that was 200 yards away from the main venue during the winter 2009 session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and that was apparently praised by Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, for being "the most cozy and comfortable studio in all of Davos," the report said.

Tencent posted public financial documents showing that Mr. Rui sold his Pegasus stock in August 2010 to Mr. Cao, known in English as Steven Cao, who in October 2012 was promoted from Pegasus president to chief executive of Edelman's main China interest, the Daniel J. …

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