Chinese authorities have banned a well-known Chinese medical information website for “violation of key rules and regulations” months after its criticism of a government-backed herbal COVID-19 therapy sent shares in a pharmaceutical corporation plunging.
The efficacy of Lianhua Qingwen, a herbal medication advertised for fever and sore throats, as a COVID-19 treatment has previously been questioned by DXY, which counts internet giant Tencent among its investors and operates a variety of health-related businesses.
The item from DXY, which has since been removed from its website, was one of a string of news stories that sent shares in Lianhua Qingwen’s producer, one of the biggest traditional medicine manufacturers in China, plummeting.
A message at the top of the website’s main page informs visitors that “this user is presently barred from posting” as a result of “violation of applicable laws and regulations” on at least five of the website’s Weibo social media accounts.
Since Monday, DXY’s official WeChat accounts have not been updated. These accounts regularly post several articles a day on medical-related subjects.
The Chinese government, in recent years, has increased its support for traditional medicine both domestically and internationally, frequently with overt nationalistic overtones.
The way that DXY covered traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) drew criticism for its promotion of Western drugs.
The US Food and Drug Administration stated that Lianhua Qingwen was not approved and that any claims about the coronavirus were “not substantiated by competent and reliable scientific data.”
Beijing published its first white paper on TCM in 2016, outlining ambitions to establish clinics and send practitioners to underdeveloped nations in Africa and Southeast Asia.
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