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Sunday, August 27, 2006 

Chinese Journalists Reporting on iPod Sweatshop Got Sued

Remember the news story about Chinese workers slaving away at iPod sweatshops in China?

It turns out that journalists in Taiwan and China who have reported on this story were sued by the Taiwanese sweatshop factory owner, Terry Guo, Chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industrial.

In Taiwan, the lawsuit was eventually abandoned, after The Association of Taiwan Journalists "took it up with the international media organizations to make this case a center of attention," according to ESWN.

But the lawsuits remain for the Chinese journalists who did the follow-up reporting for Shanghai-based First Financial Daily. Their personal assets are now frozen. "Two Shanghai journalist defendants, editor Weng Bao and reporter Wang You of the China Business Times, the damages asked for were 10 million yuan (US$ 1.25 mil) and 20 million yuan (US$ 2.5 mil) respectively," according to Non-violent Resistance.

A friend pointed out that journalists with the British paper, The Mail, who did the original reporting had not received any lawsuits from the factory owner.

"The reason that I am so angry about this is not only that FoxConn and Guo chose to list the journalists themselves as defendants, but that a Chinese court would be stupid enough to consent to this and proceed to freeze the journalists' personal assets. As the Beijing News story quoted a Renmin University law professor as saying, Chinese law doesn't even support such a claim: according to a judicial interpretation issued by the Supreme Court in 1993 on libel cases, if the literary work at dispute is written by full-time journalists while fulfilling their work duties -- reporting and writing for their newspaper, in this case -- then only the employer i.e. the newspaper, should be listed as the defendant." Non-violent Resistance wrote and this is what I think good journalism is about. Hope the journalist behind Non-violent Resistance will manage to get his employer to this story out.

Hi. Do you know about “ English teacher in Shanghai”
There is have a blog called Sex in Shanghai in which a Western guy tells about all his exploits with Chinese women here in Shanghai. (That blog is still #1 on the “hottest blogs” list on the CBL, but it now seems to be inaccessible.) Since then, the Chinese have found out about the blog, and they are (understandably) pissed.

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