A local taxi driver has been punished after spreading a rumor over China-India border tensions, Shanghai police said yesterday.
The driver, a 46-year-old man surnamed Cheng from Chongming District, was sentenced to five days' detention for spreading a rumor in WeChat groups last Sunday that China's Foreign Ministry had started to evacuate Chinese nationals from India and that "a large amount of flights" would be arriving at Shanghai's two airports from Sunday afternoon.
His WeChat messages called for taxi drivers to stand by to pick up the passengers, the police said.
The messages purported to have been sent by Shanghai Urban Transportation Administrative Department, the government body supervising the taxi industry.
On Monday Cheng's post was spread by a Sina Weibo blogger, a 22-year-old local man surnamed Cao, who has about 1,000 followers, police said. They added that Cheng was caught yesterday and that Cao, was given a police admonition.
Cheng is alleged to have said he spread the rumors to show off his knowledge of news and because he was bored.