Health bureau official Xie Zhiqiang was suspended from his post on Tuesday, a day after details of his affair with a married woman was exposed to the public via his microblog.
Xie, director of the health bureau of the city of Liyang, East China's Jiangsu Province, was placed under investigation after his microblog posts on weibo.com detailing his affair with a local woman were circulated on the Internet, the city's publicity department said in a written statement issued on Tuesday.
Microblog newbie exposed
Xie registered a microblog account in March, after being told by colleagues that "microblogging is more popular than e-mail now," according to a report in the Guangzhou-based New Express.
Apparently unaware that his entries would be seen by other Web users, Xie posted intimate messages to the woman on his microblog account. Both had only each other as "followers" on their microblogs.
Their entries were widely circulated on the Internet on Monday, when some Web users discovered the two were sending incriminating messages to each other.
"You can get the keycard (to the room) from me. You can go first and have a rest. I'll be there soon, okay?" reads one post from the official.
"How can I get the keycard from you? I won't fetch it from the reception desk by myself," reads a reply from the woman.
In his posts under the username "For you 5123," Xie and a female user named "Cherish love for life" agreed to meet each other at a local hotel.
It was evident from their conversation that the woman was married and had a child.
In the conversation, Xie promised to pay for the woman to do her shopping in Shanghai. A number of erotic messages between the two were also exposed on the Internet.
By late Monday, all the messages posted under the two usernames were deleted and the personal information of the two users had been revised.
However, several Internet users had already copied all of the posts, later circulating them online.
On Monday, Xie confessed his transgression to the local Party discipline and inspection commission, the watchdog agency that monitors Party officials. A day later, he was suspended from his post and placed under investigation.
Xie had apparently thought the microblog was a kind of secret online chatting channel and never thought that his posts would be seen by others, an anonymous source told China News Service.