The Global Times journalist from mainland China, who was assaulted by anti-government protesters at the airport in August, has been awarded 100,000 yuan (HKD$110,471) for his “work performance” by his employer. Global Times is a Chinese nationalist newspaper.
Reporter Fu Guohao was seized, kicked and hit with umbrellas repeatedly by protesters on August 13, after he refused to show his press credentials and was found with a T-shirt in his backpack featuring the slogan “I love HK police”.
“Fu Guohao and our other colleagues who have shown outstanding performance in the reporting of Hong Kong [protests] have been awarded. Fu has received the highest award of 100,000 yuan,” Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said on Weibo, China’s microblogging website.
At an awards ceremony on Sunday Hu said Fu had “not been earning much” from his work at Global Times and had been renting a flat in Beijing. “We jokingly said we hoped the 100,000 yuan would bring him good luck, and that he can buy a flat and be married one day,” Hu said.
Fu was one of two men seized by protesters at the airport. The other man was suspected of being an undercover agent after wooden sticks were found in his backpack.
Fu was discharged after treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital hours after the assault and said in an interview that he had not admitted he was a journalist for “self-protection”. He also denied asking protesters to hit him, although he was heard asking them to do so in a video.
Since the incident Fu has been hailed as a “real hero” by Chinese state media and has received huge support from the mainland’s online community.