Scientist is being guarded at a state-owned apartment in Shenzhen
China is eager to shed its reputation as the "Wild West" of genetic engineering.
Chinese scientist may face death penalty for gene-editing babies, colleagues warn
* He Jiankui reportedly edited the genes of embryos to be implanted in a patient via IVF treatment, which is illegal globally
The Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world's first genetically edited babies could face the death penalty, colleagues have warned.
He Jiankui was placed under official investigation in November when he released five videos, claiming to have used gene-editing technology to alter the DNA of embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments.
According to reports, the scientist is being guarded at a state-owned apartment in Shenzhen although it is unclear whether the guards are there to protect him or ensure he remains inside the apartment.
He could face both corruption and bribery charges which carry the death penalty in China.
After Jiankui made his claims last November, the Chinese government quickly swooped in and disrupted his research - but not until after one of his patients had given birth to twin girls, known as Lulu and Nana.
The girls had their genes edited so they could resist being infected with HIV, he said, although claim could not be independently verified.
It has been met with a combination of scepticism and concern.
China's vice minister of science and technology, Xu Nanping, told state broadcaster CCTV that his ministry was strongly opposed to the work.
At the time he described it as illegal and unacceptable, and added that an investigation had been ordered.