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China Malware War Gets Personal 35

bcaulfield writes to tell us Zhou Hongyi has filed a 3.6 million yuan ($450,000) defamation suit against Yahoo China. Hongyi, the former president of Yahoo China, filed his suit in response to comments made in a recent Yahoo press conference accusing him of unethical business practices. From the article: "A rift between Mr. Zhou and Yahoo China has been developing since before his departure from Yahoo last year, just prior to Alibaba's takeover of Yahoo's China operations. Mr. Zhou doled out generous bonuses to Yahoo employees in a ploy his detractors derided as a naked purchase of loyalties. Mr. Zhou defended the disbursements. 'Many of these people were longtime Yahoo employees, and they were under no obligation to follow me,' he said. 'It was my money to do with as I wanted.'" Update 08/20/2006 15:01 GMT by SM: Corrected the currency for the suit.
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China Malware War Gets Personal

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  • by tgtanman ( 728257 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:10AM (#15943153)
    From TFA: "Zhou Hongyi, controversial Internet entrepreneur and former president of Yahoo China, has filed a 3.6-million yuan ($450,000) defamation suit against his former employer in Beijing's Second Intermediary People's Court."
    • by Kuukai ( 865890 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @02:50AM (#15943307) Journal
      From TFA: "Zhou Hongyi, controversial Internet entrepreneur and former president of Yahoo China, has filed a 3.6-million yuan ($450,000) defamation suit against his former employer in Beijing's Second Intermediary People's Court." (emphasis mine)

      Is China's People's Court anything like our People's Court? That would be so awesome...
      • by British ( 51765 )
        Is China's People's Court anything like our People's Court? That would be so awesome...

        I'm Dong Rourrerryn thanking you once again for us and reminding you, if you're involved in a dispute with another party (such as this) and you can't work it out, don't take the raw into your own hands. You take him to court.

        (i'm sorry, I know bad humor).
  • ...this isn't an article about a newly developed service. This belongs in YRO.
  • New tag time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Monkeys!!! ( 831558 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:28AM (#15943184) Homepage
    I've tagged this article incorrect because of the summary. So much wrong, so little right.
    • Thank you for not misusing "fud" for this one! And thank you for tagging anyway, tags seem to be sparse this time of year.
  • malware? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by postmortem ( 906676 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:30AM (#15943189) Journal
    Article itself contains some details about rampant malware in China. This is in my opinion interesting part:

    "There's only one browser address bar, and we were all competing for that space," he said. "We all tried to uninstall one another. And we all just went further and further down that road. If you can protect your software from being uninstalled by a competitor's, then imagine how hard it is for a regular user to uninstall."

    So, in some way every browser toolbar is a malware.
    • Re:malware? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Harmonious Botch ( 921977 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:54AM (#15943228) Homepage Journal
      So, in some way every browser toolbar is a malware.

      Not quite. The most one can conclude is that every toolbar writer had an incentive to make his toolbar malware. Some, presumably, resisted the temptation. This guy did not. And his argument ( 'everybody else was doing it' ) was something that most of us learned was an insuficient excuse back in kindergarten.
      • Re:malware? (Score:4, Funny)

        by kfg ( 145172 ) * on Sunday August 20, 2006 @02:00AM (#15943237)
        And his argument ( 'everybody else was doing it' ) was something that most of us learned was an insuficient excuse back in kindergarten.

        And so I quit school.

        KFG
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by postmortem ( 906676 )
        All big and small players have toolbars as a tool that increases their market share, or access to the customers. Some toolbars are undoubtedly malware, while others aren't (perhaps Google, MSN, AOL, Yahoo tolbars, etc.). But their real goal is the same: to direct you to sites which they promote and get paid in return. Perhaps calling them a malware is too strong word. In the end, user shouldn't limit themselves to single search engine. This is solved nicely in Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 through drop-do
        • Re:malware? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Skidge ( 316075 ) * on Sunday August 20, 2006 @03:16AM (#15943345) Homepage
          This is solved nicely in Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 through drop-down menu list.

          I may be wrong, but doesn't Firefox get a kickback for sending people to Google? If they do, that doesn't seem all that ethically different from Google's own toolbar, malware-wise. If not, I apologize for the misinformation. :)
      • by Otter ( 3800 )
        The most one can conclude is that every toolbar writer had an incentive to make his toolbar malware. Some, presumably, resisted the temptation.

        I think the OP's point is that Zhou is claiming (for what that's worth) that no one resisted the temptation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by euri.ca ( 984408 )
        Speaking from a Chinese internet cafe (from Firefox on my USB drive) EVERY public computer has a few toolbars on Internet explorer. Even little 640 by 480 screens are cluttered up with 2 or 3 value-added bars! One at a hotel in Hanoi (Vietnam not China) had a big bar to tell me the temperature was -999 degrees, and I couldn't get rid of it.
      • It may be an insufficient excuse in kindergarten, but it's a valid excuse in a criminal court (it's more complex in civil court, but may form part of your defense anyway). Specifically, in the form of the principle of selective prosecution [wikipedia.org] - if you can show a bias on the part of the prosecution , such that others did the same thing but were not prosecuted for it, then you can't be prosecuted for it either.
  • by slack-fu ( 940017 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @01:47AM (#15943216) Homepage
    "A rift between Mr. Zhou and Yahoo China has been developing since before his departure from Yahoo last year, just prior to Alibaba's takeover of Yahoo's China operations.
    Damn that Alibaba and his 40 thieves!
  • this is ironic (Score:4, Informative)

    by deconvolution ( 715827 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @03:17AM (#15943349)

    Zhou Hongyi was often titled "The father of Chinese malware" ......

    The 3721 assistant plugin he created is totally a nightmare, especially in a workgroup environment. I think the only motivation of this lawsuit is about money.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tomhl ( 732075 )
      Indeed,

      money is everything in China these days, you can be sure this is about money. Plus I'm perfectly sure he bought those loyalties, because that's totally normal amongst Chinese people in every position. It's totally normal in China to bribe people around you to convince them to do something in your favour - I know several lower gov't official and judges who fund their lifestyle this way.

      In China everything seems to be about 'face' and money.
  • I recently received a bonus. Was I bought? Hell yeah. That's what bonuses are about. They reward productive employees. And why do they pay such a reward? Because they want your loyalty. It's not about being nice. It's about keeping you onboard. As for malware, I didn't RTFA. I've avoided Yahoo BHOs and programs like the plague anyway.
  • Remember "Alibaba"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @08:44AM (#15943873) Homepage
    "Alibaba, the Hangzhou-based B2B e-commerce company that took control of Yahoo China in August 2005, announced that the company and its subsidiaries would "henceforth and for all time cease to make use of the services provided by companies invested in or related to Zhou Hongyi."

    Alibaba's subsidiaries include Yahoo China, payment solution provider Alipay, and leading Chinese auction site Taobao.com."

    (It was also the completely unserious site who allowed Apple Mac G6 (!) to be listed on their pages)

    http://www.engadget.com/2006/05/11/mac-g6-now-avai lable-for-499/ [engadget.com]

    "Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be), the Red PCs web site seems to be down, though the machine is still listed on the Alibaba.com site as available for purchase with free global shipping and a one-year warranty."

  • by amightywind ( 691887 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @11:59AM (#15944418) Journal
    Many of these people were longtime Yahoo employees, and they were under no obligation to follow me,' he said. 'It was my money to do with as I wanted.'

    Graft is standard business practice in China. Yahoo would be wise to consider a recent quote by Donald Rumsfeld [senate.gov]: "You've got to be kiddding! Do you think there is gambling in the casino?"

I consider a new device or technology to have been culturally accepted when it has been used to commit a murder. -- M. Gallaher

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