A Troubling Future for China’s Once-Raucous Internet

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- At some point after his Aug. 23 arrest for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, Chinese Internet celebrity Charles Xue began losing his 12 million followers on Sina Weibo, the country’s most popular microblogging site. The abandonment of Xue, a billionaire investor and online activist, has been subtle but unmistakable: At 12:36 p.m. on Monday in China, he had 12,054,441 followers; 10 seconds later, he had 12,054,435; after another 10 seconds, he was down to 12,054,430. In five minutes, 50 followers had cut their online ties.

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