IT workers held for "spreading rumors" of bank bankruptcy

If convicted of "damaging the reputation of a business", they could be sentenced to up to two years in prison.

Two employees at an Internet company have been held up for allegedly spreading rumors that a commercial bank will go bankrupt, Shanghai police said on Thursday.

The suspects, surnamed Qiu and Yang, allegedly changed the source code on pages of the bank's official website and then forged and spread false information. 

The false information, which stated that the bank will cancel credit card bonus point policies and other benefits due to imminent bankruptcy, were spread on internet forums and WeChat groups recently, police said.

Two other people have also been held up for allegedly helping spread the rumors by forwarding the messages.

The four suspects were caught in Shanghai and Shenzhen and could face the criminal charge of “damaging the reputation of a business”, police said.

If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to two years in prison, according to China’s Criminal Law.

Police said they started an investigation after the bank reported the case and that they will not reveal the name of the bank.

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