The announcement carried late Friday by official media said the Internet companies and individuals were being punished for fabricating and disseminating rumors that military vehicles had entered Beijing or that something had happened in the Chinese capital.
The Twitter-like services run by Sina Corporation and Tencent Holdings, which have more than 300 million users, say they are temporarily disabling their comment functions.
The punishments came after populist senior leader Bo Xilai was removed from his post two weeks ago, leading to speculation about divisions in the Communist Party leadership.
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