For Immediate Release
Citizen Power Initiatives for China (CPIFC)
Contact: Daniel Gong
Tel: +1 (202) 827-5762
WASHINGTON, DC, October 2, 2021
On September 30, 2021, the Judge Patricia M. Lucas of the Santa Clara Superior Court ruled that the lawsuit brought by Citizen Power Initiatives for China and six WeChat users against Tencent must proceed in court, denying Tencent’s attempt to divert the case to private arbitration. This is an important early win, because it ensures the proceedings, which raise issues of great public importance, will unfold in a public forum, and not behind closed doors in a private arbitration.
DR. YANG Jianli, CPIFC’s founder and president, issued the following statement.
“We know there is still a long fight ahead, but we are gratified the Court ruled in our favor in this instance. It shows that in America, the rule of law means that even a rich, powerful company with political connections must humble itself before the law. For the Chinese-speaking community, so many of whom are used to the Chinese Communist Party’s politically dominated legal system, it is a reminder of how an independent judiciary helps to ensure a fair society. We look forward to moving forward with our case.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in January 2021, challenges a number of Tencent’s practices and policies in California as being unlawful under state law. Among them are Tencent’s alleged practice of turning over California WeChat users’ private data to the government of the People’s Republic of China, and Tencent’s policy that users in California who happen to be PRC citizens must abide by PRC law when using WeChat, despite being on California soil.
The case is CPIFC et al. v. Tencent America LLC et al., Case No. 21CV375169, Santa Clara Superior Court.
Press Release: Lawsuit over politically motivated censorship and surveillance on WeChat filed in California today by Citizen Power Initiatives for China