In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, a man takes photo for another near charred remains of new cars at a parking lot near the site of a warehouse explosion in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality.  People recently punished in China's campaign against online rumors include those who circulated an inflated death toll in the Tianjin blasts and who alleged a man committed suicide because of the country's stock market woes, state media reported Monday, Aug. 31, 2015.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, a man takes photo for another near charred remains of new cars at a parking lot near the site of a warehouse explosion in northeastern China's Tianjin municipality. People recently punished in China's ... campaign against online rumors include those who circulated an inflated death toll in the Tianjin blasts and who alleged a man committed suicide because of the country's stock market woes, state media reported Monday, Aug. 31, 2015.(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (The Associated Press)

Press freedom groups urge China to release reporter accused of false article on stock market

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The Committee to Protect Journalists is urging Chinese authorities to release a reporter accused of spreading false information on the country's stock market meltdown.

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The group is calling it the latest intimidation of journalists by President Xi Jinping's administration.

On Monday, a state broadcaster showed Wang Xiaolu, a reporter for privately owned financial magazine Caijing, confessing that he wrote a false report that "caused such a great damage to the country and stock investors."

Press freedom groups say China's leaders are seeking scapegoats for the collapse of a stock market bubble that was engineered by government policies.

Caijing said last week that Wang had been detained in relation to a July 20 article about market regulators considering ending interventions aimed at stabilizing share prices. Regulators denied the report, and made interventions up to mid-August.