CHINA TOPIX

Updated 2:00 PM EDT, Wed, May 20, 2020

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Chinese Tycoon Ren Zhiqiang Faces Ire After Criticizing President Xi

Ren Zhiqiang

(Photo : Getty Images) Ren Zhiqiang has since deleted his comments on Weibo which criticized President Xi's speech to the media. Nonetheless, his tirade has put him on the receiving end of a barrage of criticisms from state-owned media outlets.

Top Chinese property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang, who is known for his outspoken nature, faced flak from state-owned news portals on Monday for criticizing President Xi Jinping's comments last week that the "media should work for [the] Communist Party."

President Xi's comment came during his much publicized tour to media organizations on Friday. The Chinese president visited three renowned state media organizations - Xinhua, People's Daily and CCTV. During his tour, Xi reportedly appealed journalists to pledge their absolute "loyalty to Communist Party and to protect its authority and unity."

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Reacting sharply to President Xi's call, Ren wrote some critical comments on his personal Wiebo account, which have now been deleted.

One of Ren's critical tweets reportedly questioned whether media organizations are funded by the party funds or the tax payer's money.

In another message, Ren reportedly stated that if media organization do not represent public interests, then people will be forgotten.           

In response to Ren's tirade, state affiliated news portal Qianlong.com has accused Zhiqiang of spreading "anti Communist Party sentiments."

One of the articles on Qianlong, headlined "Who gave Ren the confidence to oppose the Party", accused Ren of being representative of capitalism and trying to topple the Communist Party's rule and establish Western-style constitution in mainland China.   

Controlling the media through capital ownership is a crucial part of their plan, Qianlong's article stated.   

Ren is one of the most influential micro bloggers in China with over 37 million followers. But he is no stranger to the controversy. In the past, the business tycoon has courted controvery for his critical comments about the policies of the Chinese government.

His outspokenness has earned him the nickname "Cannon" in China. Many even call him the "Donald Trump of China."

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