The editor-in-chief of Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times, Hu Xijin, allegedly had extramarital affairs with two female subordinates and had illegitimate children with them, according to a recent media exposé.
Beijing-based Chinese news site Duowei News ran the scandalous story on Dec. 2. The article reported that a whistleblower—the deputy editor-in-chief of Global Times, Duan Jingtao— reported Hu’s transgressions to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s internal anti-corruption watchdog. Duan accused Hu of having extramarital relationships with two female colleagues surnamed Gao (a current employee) and Zhang (a former employee), and having children out of wedlock with both women.
Zhang is a former deputy executive editor of the English-language edition of Global Times, according to Duan.
In an email to the CCDI, Duan accused Hu of being “arrogant, corrupt, and someone who looks diligent and patriotic only on the surface,” Duowei reported.
The allegations ignited a firestorm in Chinese-language media.
So far, CCP authorities have not commented.
In response to the allegations, Hu posted a message on his Weibo account at 3 p.m. on Dec. 2, saying that the allegations were fabricated and he would request People's Daily, the Global Times’ publisher, “to give an official ruling" on the matter. Hu claimed that Duan coveted his editor-in-chief position and that she “has been absent from work for a long time" and "is delusional," suggesting that the whistleblower is mentally ill.
People's Daily is the CCP’s main mouthpiece newspaper.
A Chinese journalist told Radio Free Asia (RFA) in a Dec. 3 report that the People’s Daily and its affiliates banned the topic.
Hu Xijin Under FireThis is not the first time that Hu has come under scrutiny.
In January 2016, the CCDI reprimanded Hu with an administrative warning and ordered him to write an apology for arranging an extravagant business trip to Poland without permission from CCP authorities.
Hu has also been criticized for his controversial statements on social media.
Under his leadership, the Global Times has published hawkish articles criticizing Western democracy and vilifying Chinese dissidents, including artist Ai Weiwei, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, and activist Chen Guangcheng.
Many netizens have nicknamed Hu “Frisbee Hu” due to his close ties with the CCP and for toeing the Party line. “Frisbee Hu” implies that Hu is like a dog that is very loyal to its master and always fetches the frisbee.