Sunday, January 14, 2007

Chinese court issues a summons on German blogger

As a one-off, this is an English version digest of my article below. Originally i created it as a submission to Slashdot but they never published it. I don't know very much about Slashdot's policy in that respect but would assume that my article just got lost in the 100s of submissions they're receiving every day. Respectively they failed to realize the relevance of the story. In my humble opinion however this is indeed a very interesting story so i'm making it available for the English speaking world as well.

Chinese authorities can threaten international bloggers? You wouldn't think so? Well, here's some news.

German newsmagazin Der Spiegel had a report last october 19th about MAN, a German bus maker, sueing the Chinese company Zonda for copying their design of a luxury coach. In his blog Berlin based Ron Aron Hillmann quoted parts of the Spiegel report. As his sole personal contribution he changed Spiegel's introductory phrase "Chinese racketeers are shamelessly copying international name brand products" to "This example shows how fast and ruthless Chinese are when it comes to copying."

Now Zhongwei Bus (Zonda is their daughter company) filed a lawsuit against Hillmann in Yancheng, China, served through a German court (including a German translation). Hillmann is summoned to pull back his libels and to appear at the trial in Yangcheng on july 17th. His attorney says there's no way to just ignore the case because then Hillmann would get sentenced in absentia - and ordered to pay damages etc which the Chinese authorities would collect through their German counterparts. Apparently there do exist respective international treaties, at least between China and Germany.

Spiegel has a detailed story (in German) on the Hillmann case.

No comments: