Two reporters, Weng Bao (翁宝) and Wang You (王佑) of a leading Chinese financial newspaper 《第一财经日报》have had their financial assets frozen in connection with a defamation lawsuit filed by Foxconn (富士康), the company that runs the controversial iPod factories in China. It started with this:
On June 15, China Business News published a story by Wang You “Foxconn workers: The machine punishes you to stand 12 hours,” describing the alleged harsh working conditions and low pay in the Taiwan-funded company.
On July 4, Foxconn filed suit in Shenzen, demanding a whopping 30 million RMB in compensation from the two journalists (and we feel especially bad for the guy who has to cough up 20 million!)
By July 10, the assets of the journalists — including bank accounts, cars, and real estate, had been frozen. Naturally, this has provoked something of an outrage among those who believe that this company (and its Taiwanese boss) are strong arming the press into submission. Legal and media experts across China have said that the lawsuit is in fact a non-starter, since the lawsuit ought to be directed against the newspaper — individual journalists cannot be singled out. The Chinese media has come out strongly against this lawsuit, condemning the “chilling effect” on the media that such actions create.
In response to this, the two reporters have created blogs to chronicle the events and their feelings and reactions to everything happening to them. You can find Wang You’s blog here and Weng Bao’s blog here.
Photo of Weng Bao writing in his blog from Sina.com