Bloomberg News Chinese Staff Member Detained in Beijing

Bloomberg News Chinese Staff Member Detained in Beijing
Soldiers of the People's Liberation Army's Honor Guard Battalion wear protective masks as they stand at attention in front of a photo of Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping at their barracks outside the Forbidden City, near Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, on May 20, 2020. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

BEIJING—Chinese authorities have detained a Chinese national working for the Bloomberg news bureau in Beijing on suspicion of endangering national security, the news agency and China’s foreign ministry said on Friday.

According to a Bloomberg report, Haze Fan was seen being escorted from her apartment building by plain clothes security officials on Monday, shortly after she had been in contact with one of her editors.

“Chinese citizen Ms. Fan has been detained by the Beijing National Security Bureau according to relevant Chinese law on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities that jeopardize national security,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in response to a Reuters query.

“The case is currently under investigation. Ms. Fan’s legitimate rights have been fully ensured and her family has been notified,” the ministry said.

The Beijing National Security Bureau could not immediately be reached for comment.

“We are very concerned for her, and have been actively speaking to Chinese authorities to better understand the situation. We are continuing to do everything we can to support her while we seek more information,” a spokeswoman for New York-based Bloomberg said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Fan has worked for Bloomberg since 2017 and previously worked for CNBC, CBS News, Al Jazeera, and Reuters, Bloomberg reported.

Chinese nationals working for foreign media outlets in China are categorized as news assistants.

Foreign media operating in China have come under increasing pressure, and China has expelled more than a dozen foreign journalists at U.S. media organizations this year by canceling their press credentials amid worsening relations between Beijing and Washington.

In August, authorities in Beijing detained Cheng Lei, a China-born Australian citizen working for Chinese state-run broadcaster CGTN, on suspicion of illegal activities that endangered China’s national security.

In September, Australia helped two Australian foreign correspondents leave China after they were questioned by China’s state security ministry.

By Yew Lun Tian and Tony Munroe