Apple asked to intercede on behalf of Chinese ‘iPod sweatshop’ reporters

“The Reporters Without Borders organization has sent a letter to Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs asking him to implore iPod supplier Foxconn to drop a lawsuit against two Chinese journalists who wrote an article critical of working conditions at a Foxconn Electronics factory,” Tom Krazit blogs for CNET.

Krazit writes, “Wang You and Weng Bao of China Business News have been hit with a libel suit filed by Foxconn after they wrote a story critical of working conditions at a Foxconn plant where iPods are manufactured… the China Business Daily journalists have had their assets frozen as a result of their articles, according to Reporters Without Borders and other reports coming out of the region.”

Krazit, “An Apple representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Foxconn sues journalist, editor over iPod ‘sweatshop’ story – August 29, 2006
Apple releases ‘Report on iPod Manufacturing’ – August 17, 2006
Should Apple build its own factory in China to manufacture iPods? – July 03, 2006
iPod maker admits breaking Chinese labor laws; says Apple approved sweatshop labor – June 26, 2006
Apple begins ‘thorough audit’ of Foxconn iPod factory – June 20, 2006
Apple iPod manufacturer Foxconn sternly denies iPod sweatshop claims – June 19, 2006
Apple iPod ‘sweatshop’ story a ‘poorly researched sensationalist article’ – June 19, 2006
Apple rebuts Chinese iPod factory claims – June 13, 2006
iPods made in Chinese sweatshops? – June 13, 2006


  1. I wonder if the journalists did slander. It is not unreasonable to file a law suit against them if it did. The question is will they receive a fair hearing. If Apple steps in to “save” them, then they send a message that they have no faith in the Chinese justice system.

    Whatever the outcome, I think it is unreasonable to sieze assets because you merely filed suit. Such action is harassment and after all, journalists are not known to be the wealthiest people in China.

  2. Yahoo China continues to turn in chinese dissents for the Chinese government to jail.

    Google and MSN, American companies no less, extensively help the Chinese government censor the internet from radical ideas like “freedom” and “Democracy” in exchange for doing buisness there.

    What’s wrong with capping a few journalists that dare challenge Apple?

    China has a population problem, kill all the iPod witnesses. Now.

    Defamation and Libel explained here, this is for the US only, other countries have different rules

  3. Filing a lawsuit for libel is one thing. It’s actually a good thing for China.

    However, freezing the assets of the reports in advance of any trial and its resulting judgment is just repugnant in the extreme.

  4. However, freezing the assets of the reports in advance of any trial and its resulting judgment is just repugnant in the extreme.

    That’s done right here in the good old USA, it’s so one doesn’t give away/hide/spend assets before the slow and painful judicial process begins.

    Certain property, cars, money in the bank, all can be frozen instantly.

  5. Falling over laughing – you can’t tell any difference between US and China?
    I think journalists here a splattered all over the place criticizing the Gov. – not so in China because most disidents are in jail or dead (along with the real Extremists: the Christian preachers).

  6. I think we need to send Dan Rather in to check on the report of the reporters falsely reporting reports of something or other. The important thing is to get his take on the situation, and run with it. And send that Mapes babe in, too. You know how they like the white women…

    John F. Kerry

  7. If this is what it takes for journalist to actually spend a moment and consider the facts and insure they portray them in the correct, not doing so to sensationalize their story, perhaps this is a great lesson. Let’s stop and look at what the words of the journalist did. They defamed the hard work of thousands of employees at Apple. When the story is not correct and portrayed in fair light, perhaps the perpetrators should feel the pain.

    I am tired of reporters trying to make a story when it is not, especially at the detriment to others. Reporter have the freedom of expression. The people or companies they write of and about also have the RIGHT to collect damages when the reporter screws up.

    I know China is messed up and they are not allowed free speech, but it appears that in this one case, the freedom came and the result was they caused damage to a party. There is no reason why the reporters should not be punished. Isn’t that part of the game? They got caught. Now play the rest of the game.

    I bet the next time they write a story, they will consider both sides and be fair… least enough so they aren’t going to get sued or whatever they do in China.

  8. Lurid language used in the Foxconn reports such as this:

    “Furthermore, the newspaper and reporter invented a saying: 幹得比驢累,吃得比猪差,起得比鶏早,下班比小姐晚,裝得比孫子乖,看上去比誰都好,五年後比誰都老 about FoxConn workers. In translation: “They work harder than mules; they eat worse than pigs; they rise earlier than roosters; they leave worker later than ‘misses’ [i.e. whores]; they act more obedient than grandchildren; they look better than anyone else; they are older than anyone else after five years.” ”

    strikes me as plausibly libelous.

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