Thursday, September 08, 2005

Chinese University Professor Sues Int'l Accounting firm for Taiwan listing

The People's Daily reports:

A Shanghai Fudan University professor has filed a lawsuit that accuses Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu - a branch of one of the world's biggest four accounting firms -- of listing Taiwan on its website as a separate nation.

The action, filed on August 30 at the Huangpu District Court in Shanghai, finds Professor Xie Baisan claiming Deloitte has violated the spirit of the Chinese Anti-Secession Law, approved by the National People's Congress in March of 2005.

Professor Xie, a renowned finance and securities scholar at Fudan University, is asking Deloitte for an apology "to all the Chinese people" and compensation of 100,000 yuan for "spiritual" damages.


A Deloitte official explained the firm was simply attempting to make it easier for its customers to locate its locations by placing the two areas in the "Global Site Selector" column on its website home page. However, except for Taiwan, in the column they didn't place Hong Kong, Macao and other Chinese cities, where they do run their business.

Nonetheless, the professor is convinced that Deloitte's mistake is not a simple matter. Xie said the feelings of the Chinese people are hurt by such indignities and it is necessary to take such offenders to court to correct the record.

Those poor Chinese......

1 comment:

Tim Maddog said...

Michael, you're absolutely right about how sensitive the big bullies in Beijing are.

好可憐喔! [/sarcasm]

According to the current version of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu site, Taiwan is referred to as a "site" and a "location," but not a country.

At the top of the page, there is a dropdown menu labeled "Site Selector" whose default entry reads "Select a Location." An identical menu exists lower on the page. "Hong Kong SAR" is listed in both menus.

Has the page recently been changed? A quick check of The Wayback Machine shows that it has. Although I am unable to determine exactly when it happened, it's sometime between December 1, 2004 and September 6, 2005.

On the Nov. 30, 2004 version of the page, Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR are both there -- except back then the menu was labeled "Global Site Selector" and the first item was "Select a Country."

But Michael, you left out the key sentence from the People's Daily article which exposes their big lie:
- - -
By press time, however, Deloitte had not yet made any change to the incorrect information, and still listed Taiwan is "a country."
- - -

The dateline on that article is September 7. Google's cached page of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu site -- in which the menu is identical to the current version and which is dated September 6 -- proves that to be an outright lie. Not many readers are as anal-retentive as I am, so many of them might never have known any better. ;-)

Personally, I treat it as a given that anything regarding Taiwan that comes out of the Chinese propaganda machine is a lie and that one just has to look hard enough to find the truth.

Did Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu change the words on their web site because of intimidation from China? Probably. China has a certain, um, reputation for bullying people who think for themselves.

「可惡」 is more like it.