US Secretary of State John Kerry. Pic: AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. has expressed deep concern about the reported firing of a Chinese blogger who had met with Secretary of State John Kerry and urged the U.S. to challenge China’s Internet restrictions.

Zhang Jialong reported on finance for Tencent Finance, part of China’s largest social media company. He wrote in a blog last weekend he was fired after being suspended for “radical expressions” he made when he and several other bloggers met Kerry in Beijing in February.

Zhang had mentioned imprisoned dissidents and urged the U.S. help to “tear down the great Internet firewall” in China.

The State Department said Friday it would be very troubling if a private employee was fired for publicly expressing his views. The U.S. also voiced concern over China’s “continuing crackdown” on free speech.

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