Apol­ogy or­dered for crass post­ings

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XIN­HUA

A court in Bei­jing on Tues­day or­dered in­ter­net celebrity Sun Jie and Hong Kong-based herbal drink maker Jiaduobao Group, to apol­o­gize to the fam­ily of de­ceased war hero Qiu Shaoyun for so­cial me­dia posts that the court said harmed Qiu’s rep­u­ta­tion and honor.

Dax­ing District Peo­ple’s Court said that Sun and JDB must pub­licly apol­o­gize on five con­sec­u­tive days and pay 1 yuan ($0.15) as com­pen­sa­tion for men­tal suf­fer­ing to Qiu Shao­hua, the hero’s brother.

Chi­nese chil­dren learn about Qiu in school. As a sol­dier in the Korean War (1950-53), Qiu, 26, was con­cealed in the grass on Hill 391 be­fore an at­tack by Chi­nese forces, but the US Army dropped an in­cen­di­ary­bomb­n­earby. In­stead of mov­ing and be­tray­ing his po­si­tion, and that of hun­dreds of fel­low sol­diers, Qiu burned to death.

Skep­ti­cal of the of­fi­cial story, Sun Jie mocked Qiu Shaoyun as “bar­be­cued meat” in a post in 2013 on Sina Weibo to more than 6 mil­lion fol­low­ers, say­ing that “con­sumers re­fused to pay ... as it was only half roasted”.

“They think the bar­be­cued meat of Lai Ning is bet­ter,” he said, re­fer­ring to a 14-year-old Chi­nese mid­dle school stu­den­twhodied try­ing to help put out a for­est fire in 1988.

The post caused be­fore Sun deleted next day.

In April 2015, JDB, the bev­er­age maker, ref­er­enced the con­tro­versy again by promis­ing in its own Weibo post to give 100,000 cans of herbal tea to Sun should he open a bar­be­cue shop.

It is­sued a state­ment of apol­ogy quickly after the post, but Qiu Shaoyun’s brother sued Sun and JDB in June 2015, de­mand­ing “im­me­di­ate ces­sa­tion”, as well as the “elim­i­na­tion of ill ef­fects” by means of apolo­gies and the pay­ment of 1 yuan for men­tal dis­tress.

In its ver­dict, the court said Sun’s com­ments were in­ten­tion­ally deroga­tory and hu­mil­i­at­ing.

The spread of such com­ments on­line had “a neg­a­tive in­flu­ence, harmed pub­lic sen­ti­ment, un­der­mined the pub­lic in­ter­est and caused Qiu’s fam­ily psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age”, it said.

It added that as a house­hold name in China, JDB had failed to ex­er­cise dis­cre­tion in its mar­ket­ing and there­fore should bear le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity. a it stir the

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