Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

China Expands Dissent Crackdown With Venture Capitalist’s Arrest

Chinese Venture Capitalist Wang Gongquan
Venture capitalist Wang Gongquan in Beijing on July 31, 2013. Photographer: Simon Denyer/The Washington Post

China broadened its crackdown on dissent with the arrest of venture capitalist Wang Gongquan on charges of assembling a crowd to disturb public order.

The news captured the attention of Web users across the country. The posting on Wang’s arrest by his lawyer, Chen Youxi, was the 15th most-shared post on Sina Corp.’s Weibo microblogging website as of 9:22 a.m., according to the website. The message had been re-sent more than 11,000 times.

Wang was arrested Oct. 20 on the charges, Chen said by phone yesterday, declining to give more details. Wang was being held in Beijing, Chen said Sept. 18.

China is tightening controls on dissent, particularly over the Internet, targeting users of Twitter-like microblogs, before the Communist Party’s plenum in November where President Xi Jinping is expected to push for a series of economic reforms to shore up his influence. Even as government officials sign up for microblog accounts and state media praise online whistle-blowers, authorities have exerted more control over Web discourse.

After gaining public attention in May 2011 for announcing online he was leaving his wife for his mistress, Wang became more outspoken, signing a letter in July calling for the release of rights activist Xu Zhiyong. Xu had spearheaded a movement that called for citizens’ rights.

“It’s a quite systematic crackdown on individuals involved in that movement that reflects the authorities’ nervousness,” said Maya Wang, Hong Kong-based Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, referring to Xu’s so-called New Citizens’ Movement. “The government is sending a signal that collective action is not tolerated anymore.”

Jail Threat

Last month the country’s Supreme Court said people who post defamatory comments online could face as much as three years in prison. Five men in central Hunan province were arrested for allegedly spreading false information online in order to blackmail government officials, the official Xinhua News Agency said today. Liu Hu, a journalist who posted allegations of wrongdoing by government officials on the Internet, was arrested last month on a charge of defamation, his lawyer said.

This month Dong Rubin, a blogger in the southwest city of Kunming who had been vocal online about a planned petrochemical plant outside the city, was arrested on charges of falsely declaring capital in his company, illegal business operations and “creating disturbances,” Xinhua said Oct. 16.

Wang founded CDH Venture, the venture-capital unit of CDH Investments, in 2005, according to the parent company’s website. Prior to that he was a general partner at IDG Technology Venture Investment, and previously one of the founders of Vantone Industry Group.

‘Healthy Criticism’

In August, Wang appeared on the front-cover of the Southern People Weekly magazine as part of a group of entrepreneurs who “want to talk about national affairs.”

“I don’t want to create a revolution, I don’t want China to break out into revolution,” he told the magazine. “I’m just doing what a citizen should do, adding the voice of healthy criticism toward the benign change of this country.”

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.