Wang Xiaoning

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Template:Chinese name Wang Xiaoning (Chinese: 王小宁; Pinyin: Wáng Xiǎoníng) is a Chinese dissident from Shenyang who was arrested by authorities of the People's Republic of China for publishing controversial material online.

In 2000 and 2001, Wang, who was an engineer by profession, posted electronic journals in a Yahoo! group calling for democratic reform and an end to single-party rule. He was arrested in September 2002 after Yahoo! assisted Chinese authorities by providing information. In September 2003, Wang was convicted of charges of "inciting the overthrow of the state" and sentenced to ten years in prison.[1]


Lawsuit against Yahoo!

On April 18, 2007, Xiaoning's wife Yu Ling sued Yahoo! under human rights laws in federal court in San Francisco, California, United States.[2] Wang Xiaoning is named as a plaintiff in the Yahoo suit, which was filed with help from the World Organization for Human Rights USA. "Yahoo is guilty of 'an act of corporate irresponsibility,' said Morton Sklar, executive director of the group. 'Yahoo had reason to know that if they provided China with identification information that those individuals would be arrested."[3]

Yahoo's decision to assist China's authoritarian government came as part of a policy of reconciling its services with the Chinese government's policies. This came after China blocked Yahoo! services for a time.[3]

Human rights organizations groups are basing their case on a 217-year-old U.S. law to punish corporations for human rights violations abroad, an effort the Bush administration has opposed.[3]

Business versus information

One of the core issues is that at the height of the Information Age with information societies utilizing information technology, when a company such as Yahoo is in the business of providing services that relate primarily to information, via the Information superhighway's Internet, the nature of that business is also interconnected with other values such as freedom of speech and human rights that cannot be ignored. This is made all the more acute when a Western-based company, such as Yahoo with its headquarters in the United States, seeks to do business in a totalitarian state such as the People's Republic of China which does not allow its citizens the same freedoms enjoyed by citizens of Western countries and cultures.

A second core issue is whether individuals can use the Internet to break the laws of their country, under the guise of freedom of speech, or under the assumed "anonymity" that the Internet provides them.

Other cases

On September 7, 2005 another dissident, Shi Tao, was arrested due to Yahoo! supplied information. Yahoo! stated it was simply complying with Chinese law. Other related cases are those of Jiang Lijun and Li Zhi.

See also


External links

Alien Tort Claims Act

no:Wang Xiaoning

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