An award-winning reporter from Hong Kong has gone missing following a business trip to China in late October, people close to the matter told Kyodo News on Thursday.

Minnie Chan, the South China Morning Post reporter, became unreachable after visiting Beijing to cover Xiangshan Forum, a three-day international security forum that ended Oct. 31, said the people, mainly her friends, expressing their worries that Chan may be under investigation by mainland authorities.

File photo taken on Oct. 29, 2023, shows a session on the opening day of the Xiangshan Forum, an international security forum held in Beijing that ended on Oct. 31. (Kyodo)

The Hong Kong newspaper answered Kyodo News' questions about Chan in an email and said she is currently "on personal leave" but did not disclose further details, citing privacy concerns.

A social media account of hers included a post made in early November. But she has not responded to any comments on the post, said the people who suspect it was not made by Chan herself.

According to the newspaper's website, Chan has worked for the newspaper since 2005, specializing in the coverage of matters related to defense and diplomacy in China.