Beijing Xicheng People's Procuratorate has formally approved the arrest of Liu Ren, vice president of Oak Pacific Interactive, for extortion.
According to the information from police and local media last week, in July 2008, Liu allegedly asked the DoNews.com editor Xu Xinshi and 17Tech.com editor You Yang to publish a large amount of negative news about Qihoo.com by fabricating information and placing it on DoNews.com, Mop.com and 17Tech.com, which are all invested businesses of Oak Pacific. After Qihoo.com asked for the false news to be deleted from those websites, Liu reportedly said Qihoo should pay CNY230,000 to his private bank account.
On September 19, 2008, Liu received the first CNY50,000 payment and deleted several articles. But then he continued to spread negative news about Qihoo.com on the websites part of his company's portfolio. Qihoo.com management finally reported the case to the police on September 24, and Liu and the other two editors were arrested by the Xicheng District police while receiving the second payment on October 12, 2008.
On November 19, the police of the Xicheng District handed in the relevant documents to the Beijing Xicheng People's Procuratorate, asking for permission to arrest Liu Ren, Xu Xinshi and You Yang for the crime of extortion. After a careful investigation, Beijing Xicheng People's Procuratorate formally approved the arrests.
According to the reports in Chinese media, the Liu Ren gang has been blackmailing technology and Internet companies with the websites managed by him for a long time and Qihoo.com was not the only victim. The police have now begun a more thorough investigation into these claims.