Foxconn backpedals in press lawsuit

— 10:46 AM on August 31, 2006

Two Chinese journalists were recently sued for $3.77 million and had their assets frozen after writing a story about poor working conditions in Foxconn's iPod plants. The lawsuit prompted negative response from the Chinese press and advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, and now a Reuters report on Yahoo News says Foxconn has folded and reduced its demand for damages to a symbolic one yuan, or 13 cents. The company will also apply to unfreeze the reporters' assets, reversing a petition filed back in July to lock down their bank accounts, apartments, and cars. One of the two journalists, Weng Bao, said Foxconn's backpedaling was "a victory for Chinese media."

These events are reminiscent of a similar lawsuit Foxconn filed against a Taiwanese reporter two years ago. The reporter was sued for $912,000 and also had her assets frozen after writing a story about Foxconn benefiting from Intel's switch to LGA775 processors and motherboards. However, pressure from the Association of Taiwan Journalists eventually pushed Foxconn to drop the suit altogether.

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