Beijing 31 March 2012. Chinese authorities have arrested 1,065 suspects for spreading rumours of a coup on the internet last week after the sacking of an influential Communist Party leader and also closed down 16 websites and penalised two micro blog sites.

The authorities deleted 208,000 online messages.

Coup rumours went viral on the 300 million strong micro blog media.

Earlier, today Xinhua reported that officials have closed 16 websites and detained six people responsible for “fabricating or disseminating online rumours”.

Also two major Chinese micro blogging sites, and, known as Chinese Twitters with millions of bloggers have suspended comment functions after they were punished for allowing rumours to spread, the news agency reported.