China's richest man sues over false attribution on social media
Updated: 2015-11-18 15:39
BEIJING - Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, has lodged a lawsuit over false attribution under his name on social media, which was used to attack e-commerce businesses led by billionaire Jack Ma, a Beijing court confirmed on Wednesday.
The Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court said that Wang demanded a public website on social messaging app WeChat delete the article, make a public apology and pay compensation up to 10 million yuan ($1.56 million).
Wang, China's richest man according to Hurun's annual wealth ranking, said the site "Top Entrepreneur Thinking" run by Beijing Hanshanghulian Trade Co. Ltd. published an article that attributes quotes criticizing e-commerce, especially taobao.com, to Wang on Nov. 12.
The headline for the article read "China will not get rich when taobao.com is alive; The real economy dies as e-commerce grows prosperous: Wang Jianlin."
The article said taobao.com has strangled innovation in many Chinese industries. At least 90 percent of small businesses on taobao.com, China's largest online retailing platform run by Jack Ma's Alibaba, would die. The remaining 10 percent would be dominated by large firms which would eventually wage a price war, driving e-commerce into vicious, competitive cycle.
The article also used Wang's name to attack Jack Ma, saying Ma is a terminator adept in betting on people's greediness.
Wang said the article is bias, vicious and slanderous. The writer stole his name to gain a higher click rate for the website, which has damaged his reputation and the reputation of his group.
On Monday, the website carried an apology letter saying the writer is new and used the website to publish his own article. The writer said Wang is his idol. He hopes to get Wang's pardon.
The case is under legal proceeding. The court has not announced a date for the trial.
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