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Chinese man jailed for posting false bomb threats ‘to build an online following’

A Chinese man who hoped to become an internet celebrity has been jailed for a year for uploading videos in which he threatened to bomb a local shopping mall, a local news website reported.

Last November 6, the man, surnamed Wang, who sold mobile phones on the instant messaging app Wechat, shot a video of the Saga International Shopping Mall in Xian, Shaanxi province, while he was driving past and later uploaded it online, Hsw.cn reported.

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Wang said in the video: “When the Saga [Mall] was built, they didn’t inform me, so I am going to blow it up tonight.”

Wang uploaded three more videos carrying similar threats. Police were sent to the mall and cleared the crowds.

At midnight, Wang uploaded a fifth video, in which he said “Saga’s boss gave me 1 trillion yuan, and this whole thing is over.”

Two hours later, the police arrested Wang at home.

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Wang told the Yanta People’s Court that he devised the bomb plot idea because he thought it was a creative way to attract followers online.

When he found some of his videos garnered more than 20,000 clicks in a short time, he uploaded his last video to let the public know it was only a stunt, not a real bomb threat.

Wang was handed a one-year prison sentence for fabricating false terrorism information that disturbed public order.