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Monday, August 28, 2006 

Chinese Journalists Reporting on iPod Sweatshop Got Sued II

Danwei: "In this case, one of Taiwan's richest companies, a major subcontractor for Apple computer, is using its financial clout and infuence to intimidate Chinese journalists using extremely sketchy legal means, and the Western press is silent."

But thanks to ESWN (see here and here) and Non-violent Resistance, we now have a lot more details and clarity on the story.

For instance, no others, but two Chinese journalists from First Financial News were singled out for lawsuit because: "FoxConn's lawyers, after much investigation, found out that the 21st Century reporters who were involved in reporting the story had solid, formal employment contracts with the paper -- therefore, unlikely to be held as legitimate defendants in a court."

ESWN: "This is not a question of whether the First Financial Reporter was right or wrong in his reports. Either way, FoxConn is entitled to file a civil libel suit against the newspaper, which employs that reporter and his editor. But since when does a civil libel suit involve freezing the assets of the reporter and the editor, including their bank savings accounts, stock holdings, homes and automobiles, to the tune of 10 million RMB for the editor and 20 million RMB for the reproter? As the reporter noted, this amount is many more times than that which he can ever expect to make in his lifetime. By comparison, how would the western media react if a prominent American newscaster such as Katie Couric were sued by a large corporation and have all her personal assets frozen for the duration of the legal proceedings? The Chinese media workers are of the opinion that if this case were allowed to go through, it will be the end of any coverage of the doings of large corporations.

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