Anbang 'to sue Caixin for libel'

Updated 2017-05-04 09:30:41 Global Times

Insurer alleges mistakes by publisher

The dispute between China's Anbang Insurance Group and Caixin Media has intensified over the past few days with the release of statements by both parties.

Anbang has decided to sue Caixin Media and its editor-in-chief, Hu Shuli, for publishing a series of libelous and falsified articles, according to an open letter posted on the insurance company's website Wednesday.

Anbang also wants to sue Guo Tingbing in Canada, the author of the cover story "A Maze of Capital Leads to Anbang's Aggressive Expansion," which Caixin published online on Saturday and in print on Monday, the letter said.

"In recent years, Caixin Media has released a series of reports on our company, most of which are not based on facts. Some stories are made up by fabricating relations between our company and irrelevant people or companies, while some are intended to undermine the lawful business operations of Anbang by insinuation … We strongly despise and condemn this kind of malicious report that neglects the facts in favor of preconceived ideas," according to the letter.

The letter also specifically accused Caixin of repeatedly demanding that Anbang provide sponsorships and advertising.

It also said that Anbang had been approached on the same occasions by Caixin reporters and members of its advertising sales staff, contradicting an earlier statement from Caixin.

Caixin Media responded earlier that the company has a firewall between its business and news divisions, which prevents "any possible erosion of its journalistic independence," the company said in a response posted on its website on Monday.

The insurer's letter also said that many "mistakes" appeared in Caixin's cover story, and it rebutted claims of Anbang's self injection of insurance capital as referred to in the story.

The story said that Anbang's shareholding structure is like a "maze," in which more than 200 companies are involved directly or indirectly, creating a complex way to invest mutually in order to achieve the purpose of "false capital increases."

Anbang responded Sunday in a statement on its website in the wake of Caixin's cover story, saying that Caixin's recent reports had denigrated Anbang CEO and Chairman Wu Xiaohui by making up rumors on Wu's marital status, and falsified facts about the company's business operations, which "resulted in severe damage to the reputation of the company and Mr Wu."

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