Business Journal reporter Jason Hoehn had no idea what he was getting into when he went to China in March to cover the country’s ban on a variety of food imports.
The reporter was told the ban was being imposed due to the spread of a strain of coronavirus, and it was a major story in the state’s business daily, the Beijing Business Journal, where he covered the countrys food industry.
In an interview with Boston Business Radio, Hoehm said he was told he would be banned from entering China until he could prove he was not connected to the pandemic.
“I had no clue what was going on,” Hoehnsaid.
“I just thought, well, I’m here to cover this.
So I’m just going to do what I normally do, and that was to get an interview.”
Hoehn did not realize at the time that he was being recorded by a government source, and he later told his employer that he did not think he was talking to a government reporter.
Hoehhn told Boston Business that his story went viral after he sent a tweet out that said the Chinese import restrictions were a major news story in China.
Heehn did say he contacted the Beijing Government Press Office, which had a reporter working in the area.
The Beijing BusinessJournal’s reporter, Jason Hoeshn, had no inkling that he had been recorded by the Chinese Government press office, but said he received a call from the Beijing government to come in and check on the reporter, and Hoeehns account was deleted after he confirmed his identity, according to a transcript of the call provided by the Boston BusinessJournal.
Hoeshn said he did send the journalist a screenshot of the conversation.
“So, they deleted my account, and I was just like, well that’s weird, that’s strange,” Hoeshnsays.
“So I didn’t know what was happening.”
Hoeshhn was eventually allowed into China, but he said he had to pass a background check, as the ban on imports was in effect for only a short time.
“And they didn’t say they were going to suspend me for that period of time,” Hiehn said.
“That’s really scary.”
Hiehn told the Boston Herald he is now working for the newspaper in hopes of starting his own business.
“It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for years, and this is just a chance for me to be able to do it,” Hieshn said of his plan.
“Because, you know, I’ve had some experience doing things on my own.
And I think I can do a better job.”