China jails seven over false pollution data

China jails seven over false pollution data

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A court in China on Friday jailed seven people for more than a year each for tampering with air quality monitoring equipment and falsifying data, the official Xinhua news agency said. In its war on pollution, China is scrambling to improve real-time air quality data as it seeks to punish businesses that violate emissions quotas, but fake data remains a challenge. Two heads of district environmental protection branches got jail time for ordering staff from national monitoring stations to falsify data, according to the ruling by a court in the central city of Xian. The court found them guilty of "damaging the computer information system." The court said the two also stuffed cotton into automated monitoring systems to block sensors from recording the correct density of pollutants. Five others were also sentenced, among them two heads of the monitoring stations. It was not possible for Reuters to reach the seven individuals for comment.