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Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 07:40 pm PT (10:40 pm ET)

Foxconn reduces claim against journalists

Amongst increasing pressure from the Chinese media and a journalism advocacy group, iPod maker Foxconn has reduced a libel claim against two Shanghai journalists from 30 million yuan to just 1 yuan, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

An official at Hongfujin Precision Industry Co., a unit of Shenzhen-based Foxconn, said the company would also apply to unfreeze the journalists' assets, according to the report.

"This is a victory for Chinese media," Weng Bao, one of the two reporters working for the Shanghai-based China Business News, was quoted as saying.

It was not immediately clear why the damages claim had been cut, but the Chinese media strongly condemned the suit and a journalists' advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders, recently requested that Apple intercede in the matter.

"Apple is working behind the scenes to help resolve this issue," Apple spokesman Jill Tan confirmed to the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Foxconn had sued the two journalists over a June 15 report that accused the company of violating workers' rights by forcing them to work overtime for low pay. The suit was said to be one of the largest defamation cases filed in China against reporters.

While reducing the claim against the two journalists, Foxconn said would add the China Business News to the list of defendants in the defamation case, Xinhua reported.