The domestic media are reporting the story of Mr. Lin Jun from Zhejiang province, who came to Beijing and sued Beijing Sohu Internet Information Service and Beijing Sohu Online Network Information Service at Haidian People's Court.
Lin is accusing the defendants of publicizing false advertisements, which caused him financial losses, and is asking for CNY150,000 in compensation. Lin said that he saw an ad by Hongfa Electronic Industry Co., Ltd (Hongfa) on the homepage of Sohu in March 2004. He contacted the company by the telephone number provided on the ad and paid a total of CNY 64,800 to buy their digital products. As of yet, he still has not received any goods.
After he realized that he had been cheated, he began to collect relevant evidence for legal action. His evidence includes taped records of Sohu confirming that Hongfa was one of its clients and the Shenzhen Department of Industry and Commerce proving that no registration record in the name of Hongfa had been found by June 15, 2004.
Sohu seems quite confident that it will win the case, however, as it is placing doubt on the authenticity of the evidence provided by Lin, since most of the evidence is audio and video materials. The case is now being processed by the court.