Caijing magazine found fame in 2003 for its SARS coverage
The founder and editor-in-chief of the Chinese business magazine Caijing is leaving the publication.
Under Hu Shuli, the magazine has tackled difficult subjects such the SARS epidemic, industrial pollution and corruption by public officials.
Reports suggested that Ms Hu left following a months-long power struggle with its Hong Kong-listed owners over editorial freedom.
Caijing's reports had caused a stir in a country with no free press.
Ms Hu is well respected in China for pushing the boundaries regarding scrutiny of the government.
Caijing gained international fame when the magazine produced a series of articles on the spread of SARS in mainland China in 2003, which killed 800 people.
In 2007, Harvard's Nieman Foundation gave Ms Hu an award for "conscience and integrity".
A Caijing spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the magazine was not closing down and Ms Hu would stay on for about a month to help with the transition.
She suggested that Ms Hu has no immediate plans to start a new magazine or other publication, and would take up an academic post.
The bi-weekly magazine has a staff of 180, many of which are reported to have quit over Ms Hu's departure.