Man sues Chi­nese actress over her in­tense stare on TV show


Rules mak­ing it eas­ier to file law­suits in China have led to a new con­cern over friv­o­lous claims, such as one in which a man says actress Zhao Wei stared at him too in­tensely through his TV set.

The reg­u­la­tions mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for courts to re­ject law­suits took ef­fect May 1, lead­ing to an in­crease in cases na­tion­wide last month of 29 per­cent com­pared with same pe­riod last year, to just over 1 mil­lion cases, ac­cord­ing to the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court.

The reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem re­quires courts to ac­cept le­git­i­mate law­suits when they are filed or clearly state the rea­sons for re­ject­ing them, and cit­i­zens have the right to ap­peal the de­ci­sions.

“Pre­vi­ously, it was dif­fi­cult for ad­min­is­tra­tive cases, such as peo­ple su­ing gov­ern­ments, to be ac­cepted,” said Li Heping, a Bei­jing lawyer.

In an­nounc­ing the reg­is­tra­tion sys­tem, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua News Agency said: “Au­thor­i­ties are determined to put an end to ob­struc­tive be­hav­ior by courts and of­fi­cials med­dling in cases.”

The change has led to Shang­hai Pudong New Dis­trict Court re­ceiv­ing a case against Zhao, the court’s lit­i­ga­tion ser­vice hot­line con­firmed. The court of­fi­cial, who de­clined to iden­tify him­self, re­fused to say whether the court had ac­cepted the case.

Zhao is one of China’s big­gest and rich­est movie stars, and starred in direc­tor John Woo’s “Red Cliff.”

Re­ports say the law­suit filed by a Shang­hai man in­volves the prime-time TV show “Tiger Mom” which de­buted in May and cen­ters on a cou­ple’s dif­fer­ing ap­proach to rais­ing their daugh­ter. Zhao plays the big-eyed mother who re­lent­lessly pushes her daugh­ter’s devel­op­ment, while the fa­ther wants his child to have more free­dom.

The Legal Daily said the plain­tiff was al­leg­ing Zhao’s stare caused him “spir­i­tual dam­age.”

Gan Wen, deputy head of a case- fil­ing cham­ber un­der the Supreme Court, said at a news con­fer­ence Tues­day that the Zhao case was an ex­am­ple of cit­i­zens abus­ing their right to file law­suits.

“It’s not nec­es­sary to waste our ju­di­cial re­sources on cases like th­ese,” Gan said.

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