Leading Chinese news editors on Tuesday protested a US$3.8 million libel suit launched by Foxconn, a unit of Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant Hon Hai, against two editorial staff at China Business News following a June story alleging excess overtime and other improper practices at the company, state media reported. The Foxconn lawsuit set a "dangerous precedent" and was an "outright challenge" to the role of the media in Chinese society, said Chen Tong, editor-in-chief of Sina.com, the country's leading internet news portal. A Shenzhen court froze financial and other assets held by journalist Wang You and editor Weng Bao after the suit was filed. "The target of the suit is wrong and for the court to agree to accept it and to freeze accounts and assets is to add wrong to wrong," said Wu Haimin, publisher of the Beijing Times newspaper. "China's news industry should react; this kind of thing cannot be permitted." Apple, which uses the company to make iPod music players, said it had found employees worked longer than the 60 hours a week permitted by its code of conduct, but that it had uncovered no evidence of forced overtime.
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