A Hong Kong bookseller who has been missing for two months has reappeared in an interview with Chinese media, saying he wasn't abducted but instead crossed illegally into mainland China to help authorities with an investigation.

The interview with Lee Bo, broadcast late Monday, came a day after another man that he worked with, Gui Minhai, purportedly confessed to illegally selling thousands of books by mail to mainland Chinese buyers.

The 16-minute interview shown on Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing Phoenix TV appears to be an attempt to quell growing concern over the fates of Lee and Bo, who specialized in books on sensitive political topics banned in mainland China.

The case has raised fears about Beijing eroding civil liberties in Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese city.