A banner hung at a forum held in a police bureau in Shanxi province, China, apparently vowed to “crack down on media,” according to a photograph widely circulated online on Monday.

According to the banner, the event is a forum to “crack down on media.” Photo: Weibo.

The photograph caused a stir online with one netizen saying “Oh, they finally told the truth.”

However, the police bureau issued a public statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning apologising for a typo and for any damage caused to the media.

The bureau said that it was lacking the character for “and” in between the characters for “crackdown” and “media.” But netizens were sceptical about the explanation, saying that it makes better grammatical sense without the connector.

Netizens commenting on the matter on Weibo. Photo: screenshot via Weibo.

One said “They kept the secret for too long. Finally, they said what they wanted.” Another said that it was simply a matter of parsing and interpreting the characters the wrong way.

Some agreed with the erroneous statement, however, saying “some irresponsible media should definitely be punished.”

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.