An internet hoax has dragged a popular China stationery company into the protests against the country's harsh COVID-19 restrictions




  • In Health
  • 2022-11-29 16:37:14Z
  • By Business Insider
 
  • A fake document that circulated on Chinese social media said the country's largest stationery company would halt sales of white paper.

  • Demonstrators have used blank pieces of paper at mass protests to criticize the Chinese government.

  • The company quickly said the document was fake and that they would still sell A4 paper.

As a wave of rare protests spread across China this weekend, many demonstrators held up blank, white pieces of paper to symbolize Chinese censorship on social media posts and news articles that have been wiped from the internet.

But now a top Chinese stationery company has gotten caught up in the fervor thanks to an internet hoax.

A document shared online claimed popular chain M&G Stationery would stop selling A4 sheets of paper in order to "maintain national security and stability" and "prevent outlaws from hoarding a large amount of A4 white paper and using it for illegal subversive activities," according to CNN.

The document added that the Shanghai-based company "strongly condemns the recent 'white paper movement,'"  the name given to the protests against China's restrictive COVID-19 policies.

The company quickly announced the statement was fake and that it would keep selling white paper - but not before the company's stock price tumbled 3%.

"The company's current production and operation are all normal," the stationery supplier said, according to a filing published on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's website, CNN reported.

The company added that they have notified the police of the hoax.

M&G Stationery boasts 80,000 retail locations across China and serves 50 countries and regions around the globe, according to the company's website.

The stock price has since quickly rebounded and is back up 3.35% as of Tuesday, according to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Protests have gripped major Chinese cities as citizens criticize the country's "zero-COVID" rules that have put cities on lockdown. The demonstrations - the largest since the deadly Tiananmen Square protest in 1989 - have since expanded to call for President Xi's ousting from power.

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