Wed, Jan 16, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Ad petitioning Beijing stirs discussion on the Web

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer

An ad on the front page of the China Times newspaper is pictured yesterday.

Photo: Taipei Times

A Taiwanese businessman based in China ran a full-page advertisement on the front page of the Chinese-language China Times yesterday petitioning Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) to help him solve a business despute, triggering feverish online debate.

The businessman, who identified himself as Lin Chi-wen (林啟文), accused a Hong Kong-based company of swindling him.

In the ad, Lin said he spent nearly NT$800 million (US$24 million) buying Lucheng Plaza in Xiamen, China, in August 2003, but a company called Chienming Property Co (建明房地產有限公司) re-sold the property to another Xiamen-based firm in April 2005 and took him to court on charges of breach of contract the next month.

Media reports say that a full front-page ad can cost as much as NT$2 million.

Slamming the China Times, one of the many media outlets owned by the Want Want China Times Group (旺旺中時集團) — which has been at the center of recent public outcry against the monopolization of the media and is seen as being pro-China — one netizen said the newspaper appears to have become a platform through which individuals can petition the “celestial Chinese empire.”

Xi, who replaced Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) as general-secretary of the Chinese Communist Party in November last year, will assume the Chinese presidency in March.

Netizens also described the China Times as a Taiwanese version of China’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper, with an other mockingly predicting that the anchors from China Central Television may soon make their debut on Want Want’s local channel CtiTV.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top