Spinning a Web

Zhou Shuguang's brief but spectacular career as China's first roving citizen reporter on the Internet ended abruptly last December after he was punched in the throat by an angry policeman in the northeastern city of Shenyang. Zhou's offense: investigating a bizarre pyramid scheme involving ants and aphrodisiacs. The assault took place during a short stint in jail, after which plainclothes cops escorted Zhou to the airport and put him on a plane home, with dire warnings about what would happen to him if he returned. The small, bespectacled 26-year-old took heed. "I will keep silent now because I want...

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