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Hong Kong: Google Search Engine Sued for Defamation

Categories: Hong Kong (China), Law

Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the Chairman of Emperor Group in Hong Kong is suing Google Inc for defamation. He claimed that when searching his name, both in Chinese and English, in Google's search engine, there are listed items that defame him. He demanded the court to issue injunction to Google for further distribution of the defamation articles and he also asked for compensation.

According to newspaper report, local lawyer Leung Wing Kin said that “robot distributor” usually is not liable to defamation charge. However, if a complaint has been made to the service provider and ignored, there is a potential risk that the search engine company has to take legal responsibility for defamation charge.

Albert Yeung has also sued a number of websites, including Golden Forum (Fevaworks), The Encyclopedia of Virtual Communities (Wikia Inc.) and Uncyclopedia for defamation back in March 2011 demanding the Content Service Providers to reveal the real identity of the writers and stop distributing the articles. The legal process is still on-going.

Google (google.com.hk) has already taken down at least three search items that have been listed in the defamation claim. Now when we search Albert Yeung Sau Shing, a notice appears in the search result:

Screen Capture of the notice from Google Search Engine.

As a response to legal request, we have removed three search result. You may visit ChillingEffects.org to see more reference for this inquiry.

Albert Yeung has been alleged to have triad links and has been convicted in late 70s for “pervert the course of justice”, in 1986 for “illegal bookmaking” and in the 1998 for “insider trading”. He has very close connection with mainland China government and is famous for his casino business in North Korea.