China Arrests Bloomberg Journalist on National Security Charges

A Bloomberg News staffer in Beijing who had been missing for four days was arrested by Chinese authorities on national security charges, the news outlet reported Friday.

Haze Fan, a news assistant with Bloomberg's Beijing bureau, was last seen being escorted from her apartment by "plain clothes security officials" on Monday.

Beijing authorities confirmed on Thursday that Fan, a Chinese national, was detained by the Beijing National Security Bureau and being investigated for "engaging in criminal activities that jeopardize national security."

The report noted that Fan, formerly of Reuters, CBS News and CNBC, was last in contact with her office at 11:30 a.m. Beijing time on December 7. Her family, however, was informed within 24 hours of her arrest.

"Throughout the four days since her disappearance, Bloomberg has sought information on Fan's whereabouts from the Chinese government and the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C.," the report said.

A Bloomberg spokesperson was quoted as saying: "We are very concerned for her, and have been actively speaking to Chinese authorities to better understand the situation. We are continuing to do everything we can to support her while we seek more information."

A statement by Chinese authorities carried in the Bloomberg report said Fan's rights had been "fully ensured," with no further information about her charges disclosed.

Bloomberg said Fan began working for its Beijing bureau in 2017. Chinese nationals employed by foreign news outlets can only work as news assistants and are not permitted to do independent reporting, the report said.

"We have been doing our best... to try and get her back," Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said in an interview shortly after the report went live.

"Haze is a very talented person, and very respected, integral part of our newsroom," he added. "We are deeply concerned for her well-being."

Micklethwait said he was "not entirely clear" what happens next.

Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait speaks about the detention of Haze Fan, who works for the Bloomberg News bureau in Beijing, on suspicion of endangering national security

— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) December 11, 2020

Newsweek has contacted the Chinese embassy for comment.

This is a developing news story.

Chinese National Flag at Tiananmen Square
File photo: The Chinese national flag flies at half-mast at Tiananmen Square. Fred Lee/Getty Images