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South China Morning Post retracts article on investor’s China links

The South China Morning Post  has retracted an investigative commentary piece into a Singaporean investor with alleged links to the Chinese president due to its “multiple unverifiable insinuations”.

The article, headlined “How’s the ‘Singaporean’ investor in The Peninsula’s holding company linked to Xi Jinping’s right-hand man?” related to investments in the holding company of the luxury hotel group.

Written by columnist Shirley Yam in the newspaper’s Money Matters section, the article investigated potential links with the Chinese leader. It has now been removed from the newspaper’s website.

How the SCMP is addressing the issue today

Following its publication online on Tuesday and in print yesterday, the SCMP has withdrawn the article from its website and published a retraction saying: “The SCMP’s senior editors have concluded that the commentary piece … on further examination, does not meet our standards for publication because it includes multiple unverifiable insinuations.

“We apologise to our readers for this regrettable misstep, and will examine and improve our editorial process as a result.”

However, the newspaper emphasised that it remains committed to covering challenging subjects.

The apology to readers concluded: “The SCMP does not shy away from controversial topics. From the passing of a prominent human rights activist to ongoing internet censorship in China, our newsroom has provided readers with comprehensive, thoroughly researched and in-depth coverage that does justice to our standards of truth and fairness, and upholds our mission to lead the global conversation about China business-article-page.”

A SCMP spokesman told Mumbrella Asia that the decision to withdraw the story was made “purely based on editorial standards”.

He added: “We apologise to our readers for our shortcomings. We will take steps to improve our editing, vetting and publication process as our coverage comes under increasing scrutiny locally and internationally.”

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