Official investigated after affair posts on microblog

Updated: 2011-06-22 07:12
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NANJING - An East China official is under investigation after his posts on a popular microblog site, which detailed his affair with a local woman, were exposed and circulated on the Internet.

Xie Zhiqiang, director of the health bureau of the city of Liyang in Jiangsu Province, was suspended from his post and is under investigation, the city's publicity department said in a written statement issued on Tuesday.

Xie's conversations with an unknown female on Weibo, a Twitter-like network operated by popular Chinese Internet portal, were traced on Monday and widely circulated among Weibo users.

In his posts, which were posted under the username "For you 5123," Xie and a female user named "cherish love for life" agreed to meet each other at a local hotel.

"You can get the keycard (to the room) from me. You can go first and have a rest. I'll be there soon, okay?" reads one post by "For you 5123."

"How can I get the keycard from you? I won't fetch it from the reception desk by myself," reads a reply by "cherish love for life."

It is evident from their conversation that the woman is married and has a child.

Other incriminating messages between the two were also exposed.

"Please marry me if there is a second life, so that we can live in romance until we are 100 years old," reads one post.

"Call me, I want to hear your voice," another reads.

Xie was easily recognized, as he had posted a headshot of himself on his Weibo page.

When contacted by a reporter from local newspaper Jiangsu Modern Express, Xie confessed that "For you 5123" is his Weibo username, while "cherish love for life" is a friend of his.

"How can you view our messages on Weibo? It is impossible, isn't it?" Xie, quoted by the newspaper, asked the reporter.

Xie said he knew nothing about Weibo previously and registered the username "For you 5123" earlier this year after learning about the site from a colleague.

By late Monday, all messages posted under the two usernames were deleted and the personal information of the two users was revised.

However, several Internet users had already copied all of the posts by the time they were deleted. The posts have been circulated on popular social networks like Weibo and Kaixin, the Chinese version of Facebook.