Pic: AP.

China convicts web marketer in anti-rumor campaign

BEIJING (AP) — A Beijing court says it has convicted an Internet marketer of illegal business practices and sentenced him to four years in prison for posting false information and deleting posts critical of his clients.

Chaoyang District People’s Court also fined the manager of online marketing company Beijing Erma, Yang Xiuyu, 150,000 yuan ($24,000).

The court said Tuesday that Erma made more than 530,000 yuan by posting false information and deleting critical posts between 2008 and 2013 and 220,000 yuan by deleting negative information for others between May 2012 and 2013.

The unidentified clients included a pharmaceutical company, a construction company and a travel agency.

Yang and one of his employees were arrested last year soon after authorities launched an intensified campaign to clean up rumors, negativity and unruliness in social media.