Chinese police have detained several people for spreading a rumor that HIV carriers and AIDS patients were trying to transmit the virus by contaminating food, in part of a move to crack down on Internet rumors, authorities said on Sunday.
Rumors that a group of HIV carriers and AIDS patients from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region had laced restaurant food with their blood, leaving many people infected with the virus, were proved false after an investigation by related authorities, the State Internet Information Office told the People's Daily.
According to the office, the story was fabricated by a man surnamed Li in Luoyang in Henan Province, and posted online by a woman surnamed Qi in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan.
Li, Qi and other suspects charged with spreading the rumor have been placed in custody.
Meanwhile, four people from Xinjiang, who deliberately spread the rumor via text message, Weibo and instant messaging service QQ between November 11 and 16 in a bid to "cause instability and stir up ethnic tensions," have been punished, the office said.
The office also rejected other rumors that have recently circulated online, including one of an 8.6-magnitude earthquake in Yuxi in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, a story about two female college students in Central China's Wuhan who were murdered for their kidneys, and also claims that two female college students were raped after being plied with drink in Hainan.