Foxconn sues journalists
Two journalists from a leading Chinese financial newspaper have been sued for defamation by an Apple subcontractor seeking 30 million yuan (US$3.75 million) in damages, state press reported yesterday. A Chinese court has frozen the assets of two China Business News reporters pending a hearing filed by the subsidiary of Taiwan's Foxconn Technology Group (鴻準精密) which manufactures iPods for US based Apple Inc, the China Daily said. In what is believed to be the biggest defamation case in China ever, Hongfujin Precision Industry (鴻富錦精密工業), based in the south Chinese city of Shenzhen, has charged that a story on working conditions carried by the newspaper was inaccurate and had defamed the company.
SK Telecom/China link up
South Korea's top mobile carrier SK Telecom said yesterday it has agreed with the Chinese government to cooperate in developing third-generation (3G) mobile technologies. SK Telecom said the deal with the National Development and Reform Commission would help the South Korean company strengthen its foothold in China's fast-growing wireless telephone market. SK Telecom said it would establish a joint research center in China to develop a 3G mobile telecom standard, promoted by China, called time division-synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA). It also plans to build an experimental TD-SCDMA station in South Korea next year. SK Telecom, which controls more than half of South Korea's wireless market, has expanded its business in China, the world's largest and fastest-growing mobile phone market, as it seeks a way to meet strong domestic competition.
BP exec to give deposition
A Texas judge has ordered BP PLC's chief executive to give a deposition related to the explosion that killed 15 people last year at the company's Texas City refinery, a plaintiff attorney said. Judge Susan Criss of the 212th District Court ruled on Monday that Lord John Browne and BP Global refining and marketing chief John Manzoni must give depositions in the lawsuit filed by accident survivors and victims' families, said lead plaintiff attorney Brent Coon. A spokesman for the London-based energy company said BP will appeal the decision. "Neither John Browne nor John Manzoni have unique knowledge of the accident at the Texas City plant," BP Americas spokesman Neil Chapman said. He said BP attorneys have already granted plaintiffs access to upper-level executives with direct knowledge of the incident. Attorneys for the plaintiffs said they have deposed about 75 company executives.
EU drops tariff threat
The EU dropped a threat to impose tariffs on safety shoes from China and India as the bloc targets Chinese and Vietnamese leather footwear instead. The EU ended an inquiry into whether Chinese and Indian exporters of shoes with protective toecaps sell the goods in Europe below domestic prices or below the cost of production, a practice known as "dumping." Construction and factory workers wear the shoes. "The present proceeding should be terminated," the European Commission said yesterday in the Official Journal.