Bloomberg News is hitting back after the New York Times reported that Bloomberg killed stories fearing retaliation from the Chinese government.
Bloomberg responded on Saturday. "It is absolutely false that we postponed these stories due to external pressure," the organization said in a statement. "We are disappointed that they chose to publish a piece that claims otherwise."
The Times' report appeared on the front page on Saturday after the newspaper spoke to four Bloomberg employees who chose to remain anonymous. They said that in October, editor-in-chief Matthew Winkler called them and killed a story about the "financial ties between one of the wealthiest men in China and the families of top Chinese leaders."
He had compared the move to "self-censorship by foreign news bureaus trying to preserve their ability to report inside Nazi-era Germany," according to one of the employees, and later reportedly said, "If we run the story, we’ll be kicked out of China." He was also accused of canceling another story about foreign banks allegedly hiring the children of Chinese officials.
Winkler denied the allegations in an interview with the Times. "What you have is untrue," he said. "The stories are active and not spiked."
Bloomberg and the Times have both run into trouble with the Chinese government in the past. Both organizations had their websites blocked after publishing investigative pieces about the wealth of Chinese officials, and neither have been granted new visas for journalists. In the latest example of the tenuous relationship between foreign journalists and the China government, Reuters reporter Paul Mooney was recently denied a journalist visa.