How reliable are economic updates coming out of the Chinese government? It’s a question that won’t go away, given the nature of the regime and its history of controlling what its citizens can and can’t say.

Read: Beijing is the new billionaire capital of the world

If you’ve ever suspected Beijing of taking liberties with the picture it gives of the state of China’s economy, it would seem you’re on solid ground given a report in today’s New York Times.

“Chinese leaders are taking increasingly bold steps to stop rising pessimism about turbulent markets and the slowing of the country’s growth,” says the report. “As financial and economic troubles threaten to undermine confidence in the Communist Party, Beijing is tightening the flow of economic information and even criminalizing commentary that officials believe could hurt stocks or the currency.”

The report notes earlier this month, currency data got scrubbed from reports released by top banking officials. “Just weeks earlier,” it adds, “Chinese regulators fined a journalist $23,000 for reposting a message that said a big securities firm had told elite clients to sell stock.”

Read more here.

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