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Blacklisted Chinese Democracy Activists to Sue Netease

Finding their names blacklisted on an internet file of the company’s website, three democracy activists have asked for an open apology and plan to sue Netease Com Inc, a Chinese internet company listed on NASDAQ (code: NTES).

Zheng Cunzhu, a businessman in Anhui province and chairman of the board of Jiahe Food Inc. Ltd, was the first to find from the official website of Netease a file named "badwords.txt," where his name was placed aside a list of dirty words. Zheng also spotted the names of Wang Zhaojun, a member of the standing committee of the political consultative conference of Anhui province, and Guo Quan, a professor at Nanjing Normal University. The three of them intend to file a lawsuit in the U.S. against Netease, providing no apology is heard by Nov. 14.

Zheng, Wang, and Guo are famous as each of them wrote an individual open letter to the leaders of the communist regime, calling for political reform and criticizing the regime’s policy on  the 1989 prodemocracy movement and the Falun Gong religious group. Censored in the Mainland, the letters  spread widely on overseas Chinese websites.

Other forbidden words on the list discovered by Zheng include those related to democracy, religion, and the domestic civil rights movement. The lawsuit aims to call attention to freedom of expression in China, with the hope of reforming the political system.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 11, 2008