Foxconn sues journalist, editor over iPod ‘sweatshop’ story

“A Chinese court has frozen the personal assets of a reporter and an editor at a Shanghai newspaper after Apple iPod manufacturer Foxconn sued the pair for 30 million yuan (US$3.77 million) for allegedly damaging its reputation over reports of substandard work conditions,” Zhang Liuhao reports for Shanghi Daily.

“Foxconn’s subsidiary in Shenzhen reportedly petitioned the city’s Intermediate People’s Court on July 10 to freeze the property of Wang You, a reporter for China Business News, and Weng Bao, an editor at the newspaper. The locked-up assets include apartments, a car and bank accounts,” Zhang Liuhao reports.

“The company also filed a lawsuit against the journalists, seeking 20 million yuan from Wang and 10 million yuan from Weng. The case is the biggest of its kind on the Chinese mainland in terms of the size of the compensation claim,” Zhang Liuhao reports. “Foxconn is the trade name of Taiwan-based information technology manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. It is owned by Terry Guo, one of Taiwan’s richest men… The China Business News yesterday said that it ‘stands firmly behind its journalists and will bear all possible consequences in this case.'”

“The lawsuit charges that a story written by Wang tarnished the company’s reputation,” Zhang Liuhao reports. “On June 11, just four days before Wang’s story was published, Britain’s Daily Mail ran a story alleging poor working conditions in Foxconn’s mainland factories. That story touched off an investigation by Apple. The company later said it found the supplier to be mostly in compliance, but it did find some violations of its code of conduct and was working to address the issues.”

Full article here.

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Rainy Day” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
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. Even though we all sometimes wish we could freeze the assets of reporters (Krebs anyone?), this is just typical of the repressive government in China at work.

    Sooner or later, the people there will fully awaken and shake off the regime. Then prices of everything cheap in America will quickly go up.

    You know, for about 30 years now the Chinese government has controlled population by limiting couples to only 1 child. Think about that – in another 15 or 20 years, the Chinese words for “Brother, Sister, Uncle, Aunt” could cease to have meaning for almost all Chinese people.

    Also, think about the typical “only child” – a little less social, more spoiled, more self-centered. Multiply this effect times… oh, say a billion.

    A whole massive country of only children! Scary thought. I wonder if the party in power have really thought this through?

    Not to mention the fact that the lack of younger people means the Chinese population is aging more rapidly than any other country on Earth.

    But what do they care? They own the US – quite literally, they own more US dollars in the foreign exchange than you would care to know. If they opened up the gates and decided to “sell” dollars at a rapid clip – it would put the US in a real global pinch. Not that it wouldn’t affect the rest of the world, including China. But it’s a weapon of epic proportions – almost like Mutually Assured Destruction, but financial instead of physical.

    Just talkin out loud here. Anyone else awake out there?

  2. At least the Chinese have actually addressed the issue of overpopulation, whereas in this country and the rest of the world the mantra is to breed, breed, breed without restraint.

    I’m glad I won’t be around when the world population is over 20 billion. And then 40 billion and 80 billion. At what point will the earth’s ecosystem collapse due to the fact that we refuse to put any controls reproduction?

  3. I agree with Montex.

    It’s like, oh my welfare is running out, hmmm how about another baby with a different daddy.

    I really think people should have a license to have kids.

    Then the tax breaks end after child# 2. Oh you want three kids? well you can only claim 2. Have a cookie and some BC.

    I guess tax incentives only works on those of us that pay taxes. Yeah that’s right the bottom end (20%?) of the income bracket doesn’t pay any taxes.

    Hail the flat tax!!
    Lets just try it for a decade and see if it works.

    Time to do your taxes? Oh it’s easy it’s 18% of you’re income. That’s quite a short form.

    Oops I’m ranting. Guess it’s late.

  4. why else would it be so predominant?
    –China doesn’t “own” the US because it has some US paper currency–it is an absolute drop in the bucket and other countries hold quite a bit more; if China ever tried to use it, the Fed could soak up the excess without too much trouble, unless savvy investors from other countries didn’t soak up the greenbacks first.
    –There is no global “overpopulation problem”; to put it mildly, that’s pure horseshit. In fact, quite the opposite: fertility rates are dropping in nearly every country and region, with the drop closely associated with increasing income/wealth. In addition to China, this is true in Latin America, China, India and most (though not all) of the rest. In Europe, fertility is already far below the replacement rate, while in the US we are right at the edge. The real worry is that at this rate we will soon no longer be creating enough babies even to maintain the population. If that happens, it would mean a MAJOR drop in living standards as a smaller working population struggles to support a larger, older population and its health needs.
    Doesn’t anyone on this thread READ serious publications?

  5. blucaso: also such countries as Japan and Russia have the power to ruin economics of USA. Russia grows especially fast, with near to $300 billion in reserves and about $100 billion in stabilisation fund. It will grow to $$600-700 billion, united, in just two years from now.

  6. The issue is not over-population but poor working conditions. What hope do workers have if the journalists who expose poor working conditions can be sued by the company that makes its money by exploitation? I hope this court-case back-fires on Foxconn and they are forced to compensate their workers.

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