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Man charged with leaking data on Xi's daughter sentenced to 14 years

A Chinese website technician has been charged with illegally leaking information about the daughter of Chinese President Xi Jinping (shown). File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
A Chinese website technician has been charged with illegally leaking information about the daughter of Chinese President Xi Jinping (shown). File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

April 26 (UPI) -- A Chinese man charged with leaking the personal information of President Xi Jinping's daughter was sentenced to 14 years in prison after a second trial.

Niu Tengyu, 20, a website technician, was sentenced Friday behind closed doors at Maonan District People's Court in Maoming, Guangdong Province. The outcome is identical to that of Niu's first trial in December, Voice of America's Chinese service reported Sunday.

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Niu worked as a technician for the site EsuWiki. In December, he was accused of violating privacy and posting photos and data of Xi's daughter, Xi Mingze, and her brother-in-law, Deng Jiagui, Hong Kong-based news service Apple Daily reported Saturday.

Information about Xi Mingze, including her picture, date of birth, national identification and mobile phone numbers first appeared on "overseas" websites in May 2019.

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Xiao Yanrui, the founder of EsuWiki, told Japan's Kyodo News that Xi's information was posted on a site not under Niu's management. Someone outside China purchased the data from a Chinese police officer for 6,000 yuan, or $924, Xiao said.

Chinese police authorities in Maoming claim EsuWiki shared links from other sites. A total of 24 people were arrested in 2019, according to Apple Daily.

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During his first trial in December, Niu was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 130,000 yuan, or $20,000, on charges of personal information infringement and other "illegal activities," according to VOA.

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Some other members of the group received lighter one-to-four-year sentences, the report said.

Niu's mother, who is petitioning for the release of her son, told VOA that Chinese authorities have tortured him.

Niu has been hung while handcuffed and beaten while in confinement. The defendant also had his skin burned, his mother said.

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Xi Mingze is believed to the only child of the Chinese leader. Xi likely studied at Harvard under a pseudonym in 2010, according to Taiwan News.

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