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China's appliance giant GOME sues ex-chairman over media interview

(Xinhua)

10:45, January 06, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- A Beijing court on Thursday heard a lawsuit filed by a leading Chinese home appliance retailer against its former chairman over his allegedly "misleading" media interview that the company claimed "seriously damaged the firm's reputation and business operations."

GOME's ex-chairman Chen Xiao was accused of giving an interview in May last year to financial newspaper 21st Century Business Herald in which he disclosed the company's operations and warned investors not to hold GOME's stocks.

GOME's executive chairman Zou Xiaochun on Thursday told the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court that Chen breached a contract with the company upon his resignation in March last year. The contract allegedly stated that Chen would be paid 10 million yuan (1.57 million U.S. dollars) to keep his mouth shut about the company.

Zou asked the court to order Chen to repay the 10 million yuan.

Chen was not present at the trial. His defense lawyer stated that the sum was paid in the name of "compensation for senior executives" and there was no evidence that the payment was intended to keep Chen silent.

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