China's press watchdog has revoked the license of a newspaper and suspended operations of three magazines for illegally transferring of their publication rights.
The cases involved the Commercial Times, Electronics World, Net Friend World, and China Chain Store, said the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) in a release on Saturday.
Inner Mongolia-based Commercial Times has lost its license because it had allowed cultural companies and individuals to have publication and operation rights since 2010.
The newspaper received 320,000 yuan (52,117 U.S. dollars) from the deal, according to the release.
The newspaper continued its publication after it was ordered to suspend its operation and rectify its illegal practices in November 2012.
The administration revoked the licenses of the newspaper and all its journalists last month.
Electronics World, Net Friend World, and China Chain Store were punished for illegally leasing their publication rights to cultural companies and publishing a large number of academic essays which was beyond their line of business, according to the investigation.
The administration ordered Electronics World and Net Friend World to suspend operation for six months and China Chain Store for three months to rectify their illegal practices.
"These violations had a vile social impact, infringed on public interests, disrupted market and industry order, and impaired credibility of news organizations and journalists," the administration said.
The penalties were given as part of a campaign, which was launched by the central authorities in March targeting fake news and blackmail in the industry.