Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of nationalist tabloid Global Times, said the diary’s foreign publication “is not really in good taste” while Beijing is in the throes of confrontation with Washington.
“In the end it will be the Chinese, including those who supported Fang Fang at the beginning, who will pay the price of her fame in the West,” Hu said in a social-media comment that drew more than 190,000 likes.
An article in the state-run newspaper said that to many Chinese people, the book is “biased and only exposes the dark side in Wuhan”.
Publishers in China who were interested in her diary are now hesitating due to the controversy, Fang said in the interview on Caixin’s website.
Politically sensitive content is often censored or banned in mainland China.
In 2015 five booksellers in Hong Kong, where the mini-constitution guarantees freedom of expression, disappeared into mainland custody after publishing salacious tomes about China’s leaders.