(Beijing—Nov. 9, 2019) Chinese authorities arrested the owner of a Christian bookseller. They then conducted a nationwide inquiry into those who purchased books from the store’s website.
The store, Wheat Bookstore, distributes Christian literature, including Bibles, to people across China. Its owner, Zhang Xiaomai, has now been taken into custody.
The officials then obtained records of those who had ordered from the store and are now tracking them down.
Mr. D, a man who purchased a book from the online shop in 2017, said he received a call from the authorities.
“I want to verify whether you had purchased any books [from Wheat Bookstore] and which books you bought,” the official on the other end of the line said.
Most of the store’s clients who live in Ningde and Xiamen were asked to bring their books to the police station. There, government agents confiscated some books on Christianity.
In other instances, police obtained search warrants and entered the homes of the store’s clients. Any books from Wheat Bookstore were then taken away.
After this situation, some book titles at the Wheat Bookstore were either shortened or replaced by pinyin, an alphabet system used in typing Chinese.
Last year, China also placed bans on online Bible sales.