Sven-Erik Olsson of Stockholm police told Swedish Radio news that to all appearances, it was pure chance that the two were at the site of the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony.
But one of those arrested, according to Swedish Television is the exiled Chinese author Liao Yiwu. He is one of Mo Yan's most vocal critics and believes that the prize legitimises the dictatorship in China.
Both men were taken into custody to "dry out".
"According to custody staff, they were so drunk that it was impossible to get any sense out of them," says Sven-Erik Olsson to Swedish Radio news.
Later at the Nobel banquet, Mo Yan, who left his prepared speech at his hotel, avoided human rights issues when he addressed the audience.
"I am well aware that literature only has a minimal influence on political disputes or economic crises in the world," Mo said in a translated speech.