David Barboza Wins Pulitzer For The Wen Jiabao Story That Got The New York Times Blocked In China

David Barboza of the New York Times wins Pulitzer

David Barboza’s expose on the extent of Wen Jiabao’s family’s “hidden riches” has won him a Putlizer. He beat out the Associated Press for its coverage in Syria and Richard Marosi of the Los Angeles Times for his work on deportation of Mexican immigrants.


Awarded to David Barboza of The New York Times for his striking exposure of corruption at high levels of the Chinese government, including billions in secret wealth owned by relatives of the prime minister, well documented work published in the face of heavy pressure from the Chinese officials.

He is awarded $10,000.

Meanwhile, the New York Times remains blocked in China, which means the pool is still open: on what day will the new York Times be unblocked? Prize for the winner.

UPDATE, 5:42 pm: China’s foreign ministry has responded. Via Reuters:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated her government’s condemnation of the story.

“Our stance and attitude on this issue is very clear. We believe the relevant New York Times report had ulterior motives,” she told reporters in Beijing, without elaborating.

(H/T Shanghaiist)

    17 Responses to “David Barboza Wins Pulitzer For The Wen Jiabao Story That Got The New York Times Blocked In China”

    1. King Baeksu

      “‘We believe the relevant New York Times report had ulterior motives,’ she told reporters in Beijing, without elaborating.”

      Translation: “Ulterior motives” = opting not to fellate the CCP.

      Well done, sir!

    2. David Fieldman

      David, congratulations on your being awarded the Pulitzer prize.
      The Committee’s citation says it all.
      You have proven time and time again that you are a consummate investigative reporter who continues to draw readers to your excellent columns and make us gasp at the insights you collect along your way in documenting the egregious behavior of those in power.
      All the best in your future endeavors.

    3. Jonathan Alpart

      It was truly a great article. I remember thinking when reading it “this is truly great journalism.” It even failed actually to truly implicate Wen, saying all along that there was no hard evidence implicating Wen, and that Wen himself said he was ashamed of his family’s actions – remaining objective all along. The CCP is really sensitive to block the New York Times over what was really a non-accusation.

      • King Baeksu

        Lol, there you go again. You really are a master of the stealth apology, aren’t you?

        Of course the article implicated Wen. That’s why the CCP blocked the NYT, jackass.

          • King Baeksu

            His relatives profited immensely from proximity to his office. Don’t tell me that if he was a factory worker at Haier, they would have ever been blessed with so many incredible “sweetheart deals.”

            Moreover, he could have reined them in at any time, but clearly chose not to in the many cases well-documented in Barboza’s story.

            Ergo, he is implicitly implicated, regardless of whether or not it can be proven — for now — than he personally profited from the maelstorm of corruption around him.

            Only a twit would dare to argue otherwise — or possibly a hack on a certain somebody’s payroll.

            I suggest kneepads for greater comfort and protection.

            • Jonathan Alpart

              “While it is unclear how much the prime minister knows about his family’s wealth, State Department documents released by the WikiLeaks organization in 2010 included a cable that suggested Mr. Wen was aware of his relatives’ business dealings and unhappy about them.”

              “Wen is disgusted with his family’s activities, but is either unable or unwilling to curtail them,” a Chinese-born executive working at an American company in Shanghai told American diplomats, according to the 2007 cable.”

              “The State Department documents released by WikiLeaks included a suggestion that Mr. Wen had once considered divorcing Ms. Zhang because she had exploited their relationship in her diamond trades.”

              pg 3

              “The Times found no indication that Wen Jiabao used his political clout to influence the diamond companies his relatives invested in. But former business partners said that the family’s success in diamonds, and beyond, was often bolstered with financial backing from wealthy businessmen who sought to curry favor with the prime minister’s family.”

              pg 4

              That’s all I was referring to. Not to whether Wen is guilty or not. My point, if you had understood it, was that an article that could’ve easily become a vindictive slam piece (perhaps righteously) was actually very fair and well-documented journalism in presenting the facts, regardless of whatever conclusions are drawn from it. I was praising the journalist and the article.

              And if you actually believe that I am being paid money by the Chinese government to write propaganda to you, King Baeksu, and others like you on Beijing Cream, the great blog that it is, then I really don’t know what else to tell you.

            • King Baeksu

              Just because you say I am a hack does not make it so.

              Likewise, just because you say that Wen was not implicated in Barboza’s report does not make it true, either.

              Be careful, my friend, for it seems you may be going native!

            • RhZ

              Jonathan you are way too literal. Wen was certainly “implicated” in that piece. A reporter stating that he didn’t find precisely the clear cut evidence that Wen steered benefits to his wife and family is not the same as saying he didn’t do it. The implication is certainly that he did take actions that benefited his family.

              And even if there is no causal connection proven, the very fact of widespread and huge wealth within the families of those in power are all the implication anyone needs. It was terribly damaging to Wen, and what’s sad is that I bet the info which helped the story develop probably came from even more corrupt quarters, like the evil Leftists who are really in charge. Wen might be corrupt, but his ideology is a hell of a lot better than those fuckers.

            • King Baeksu

              On the one hand, executives from Ping An Insurance personally lobbied Wen Jiabao not to have it broken up in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis, along with executives at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, which also had large stakes in the company. In the end, Ping An was not broken up and, rather “luckily,” a number of Wen Jiabao’s relatives were able to buy millions of Ping An shares at a discount rate just before it went public.

              According to Wen family friend Duan Weihong, this is all just a big “misunderstanding.” Does her story hold up? Well, if you happen to so think, who actually stepped in and decided not to break up Ping An Insurance, if not Wen Jiabao?

              From a follow-up report by David Barboza (24 Nov. 2012)

              “On Dec. 26, 2002, Ping An filings show, a company run by Duan Weihong, a Wen family friend from the prime minister’s hometown, acquired Ping An stock through a company called Taihong. Soon after, the relatives of Mr. Wen and colleagues of his wife took control of that investment vehicle, the records show.

              “According to documents Ping An filed ahead of its Hong Kong listing, Taihong acquired 77.7 million shares of Ping An from the China Ocean Shipping Company, a global shipping giant known as Cosco, and 2.2 million more shares from Cosco’s Dalian subsidiary. A two-for-one stock split doubled the number of shares Taihong owned. So in June 2004, just before Ping An’s Hong Kong offering, Taihong held 159.8 million shares, or about 3.2 percent of Ping An’s stock, according to public filings.

              “In an interview, Ms. Duan said she had paid about 40 cents a share at current exchange rates, or a total of $65 million, to acquire the shares.

              “The price seems to have been a huge and unusual discount, analysts say, since HSBC had two months earlier acquired its 10 percent stake for about $1.60 a share, according to public filings.
              Cosco did not return calls seeking comment.

              “For Taihong, it was a blockbuster purchase. By 2007, when the price of Ping An’s stock peaked, the 159 million shares were valued at $3.7 billion — though by 2007 Taihong had already significantly reduced its stake, according to public filings.

              “While Taihong was the shareholder of record, the beneficiaries of the Ping An deal were cloaked behind more than a dozen investment vehicles controlled by the relatives of Mr. Wen, including two brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law, as well as several longtime colleagues and business partners of his wife, Zhang Beili, according to corporate and regulatory documents. All of them were listed, along with Ms. Duan, as the owners of Taihong.

              “And by 2007, the prime minister’s mother, who is now 91, was listed on public documents as holding $120 million worth of Ping An stock through a pair of investment companies linked to Taihong.

              “Ms. Duan, who says she got to know the prime minister’s family in 2000, said that she bought the Ping An shares for her own personal account. The Wen relatives only appear in the Taihong shareholding records, she said, because her company borrowed the government-issued identity cards of other people — mistakenly, she said, from relatives of the prime minister — to help mask her own Ping An stake from the public.

              “’In the end,’ Ms. Duan said, ‘I received 100 percent of the returns.’”

    4. Chinese Netizen

      It really was a very good article. Made me wish I was related to a Zhongnanhai resident… any one.

    5. Zhongnahwhy?!

      Wow @Leon. That article was so poorly executed! The GT isn’t China’s best publication, everyone knows that….but that was terrible! Was it just available online, or in print as well?!


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