Reporter Sun died in a hospital in Kuitun, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, 10 days after being beaten by several men at a construction site, news reports said. At least six young men attacked Sun at the site, where the reporter had gone to meet a source.
Authorities dismissed journalism-related motives, saying the attack stemmed from an online dispute involving a social media acquaintance of Sun. The official account, carried widely in state-sanctioned media, was greeted with skepticism in unofficial online media. Colleagues said Sun often wrote stories critical of the local government, including recent reporting on the demolition of a factory to make way for housing for local party leaders, according to local and international reports.