iPod maker relinquishes freeze on journalist assets

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iPod maker relinquishes freeze on journalist assets

Foxconn gives in to pressure, Reporters without borders claims victory.

Chinese iPod manufacturer Foxconn has reduced its damage claims against two Chinese journalists from US$3.8m to a token sum of 1 yuan, about US$0.08.

A local court also has unfrozen the assets of the two reporters, reversing an earlier move that was requested by the original equipment manufacturer.

The decisions to reduce the charges followed a protest by Reporters Without Borders. Apple also said that it has been working to resolve the issue behind the scenes.

Foxconn filed the charges against Wang You and Weng Bao over a story that they published in China Business News. The report was one of many the working conditions at a plant in Longhua where iPods are assembled.

First published in The Mail on Sunday, the reports alleged that workers in the factory were underpaid and forced to work excessive overtime. An Apple investigation found that the company violated the firm's supplier code of conduct in some areas, but claims that employees were underpaid were proven wrong.

Although it is common for Chinese firms to file legal claims against publications that issue negative reports, the Foxconn case was unique because the company went after the individual reporters rather than their employer.
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