The Justice Department investigated The Wall Street Journal over claims that employees at the China bureau bribed Chinese officials for information, the newspaper revealed on Sunday.
WSJ reported that during a wider investigation into News Corp. over phone hacking allegations in 2012, someone went to the DOJ claiming that one or more of the newspaper's employees had given gifts to Chinese officials in exchange for information for articles. News Corp. found no evidence to support the allegation, according to the newspaper's sources.
"A person close to the company said the alleged China matter hasn't been raised by U.S. investigators in some time, but wasn't more specific," the WSJ reported. "It isn't clear if the Justice Department considers the matter resolved or still open."
Sources also told the WSJ that News Corp. believed the informant was working for the Chinese government, and was attempting to retaliate against the newspaper's investigations into corrupt government officials.
The subject and timing of the allegations — which coincided with attacks by Chinese hackers, who were shown to have ties to the Chinese government, on Dow Jones' computer systems — further fueled News Corp.'s suspicions.
It is the latest report about the Chinese government allegedly taking action against the Western media in response to reporting about corruption. In January, the WSJ revealed that Chinese hackers had been trying to monitor the paper's coverage of China. The New York Times faced similar attacks by hackers looking for files for a story exposing how the family of prime minister Wen Jiabao accumulated its fortune. The Times website was blocked in China in response to the story in October.