Briefing: Baidu sues Weibo blogger for 5 million RMB after off-color joke

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百度因“段子”索赔500万,我们和这名被告博主聊了聊–寻找中国创客

What happened: A Weibo humorist by the username of “七点半的独角戏” (half past seven’s monologue) may have to pay the price for a satirical post ribbing Baidu and its co-founder Robin Li. The two-sentence microblog from May obliquely poked fun at the search engine’s past scandals, and was taken down shortly afterwards. Baidu is now suing the blogger, to the tune of 5 million RMB, for alleged damage to its reputation. The blogger told Chinese media that “normal people” would have gotten the joke, but lawyers say that the company may have a case.

Why it’s important: Baidu has proved quick to defend its somewhat spotty record before. Last July, it sued GQ Daily for a writing contest that made fun of inaccuracies in Baidu Maps, also for the sum of RMB 5 million. The latest case is most likely drawing attention for the relatively minor nature of the blog post, which was taken down in under three days.