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Foxconn retreats from reporter witch hunt

Apple does the right thing?

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Foxconn has backed down in its pursuit of the two Chinese journalists who claimed terrible working conditions in its Longhua iPod factory. It seems someone at Apple has had a quiet word in Foxconn's ear.

Wang You and Weng Bao of the China Business News were being chased by the Apple contractor for 30m Yuan (about £2m) in damages. Foxconn had obtained a court order freezing their assets. The company said their claims that illness was rife amongst employees were "malicious" and "false".

After a protest directed at Steve Jobs from journalist rights organisation Reporters Without Borders, Foxconn is now seeking just 1 Yuan (£0.066) in token damages. It has dropped the assets freezing order.

Prior to giving ground, Foxconn had said: "Of this entire episode, what the company had asked for is simply the right to protect her reputation, to preserve the Chinese dignity."

An Apple investigation of the factory, prompted by an earlier Mail on Sunday report, found overworked employees and other contractual breaches, which it says were resolved.

Apple said it is working "behind the scenes" to resolve Foxconn's action against the reporters. You'd hope so too. ®

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