Beijing, Aug 31: A journalist and stock market officials among 197 people punished in China for spreading rumours online about the recent stock market crash and fatal explosions in Tianjin, media reported.
At least 150 people were killed 23 still missing and over 300 people sustained injuries in the fatal explosions in Tianjin on August 12.
Chinese shares fell by nearly 8% after a week of volatile trading that spread fear to global markets, reported BBC on Sunday citing Xinhua.
Chinese authorities tightly control information online and have previously prosecuted internet users for spreading rumours.
In 2013 Chinese authorities introduced a possible three-year sentence for spreading rumours - the sentence was supposed to apply to anyone who posted a rumour that was reposted 500 times or viewed 5,000 times.
In 2014, blogger Qin Zhihui was given three years jail term, the first person to be sentenced in a government-led crackdown on internet rumours.