Guangzhou newspaper demands release of Zoomlion whistleblower journalist who wrote articles questioning the accounting of the Chinese construction machinery company

Xin Kuai Bao demands release of Zoomlion whistleblower Chen Yongzhou

Staff Reporter 2013-10-23

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“Please release him”: the front page of the Xin Kuai Bao on Wednesday. (Internet photo)

The Guangzhou-based Xin Kuai Bao newspaper has taken a courageous stance by calling on public security authorities to release one of its journalists after he was arrested for writing articles questioning the finances of Chinese construction machinery company Zoomlion. Chen Yongzhou was arrested on Oct. 19 by public security officials from Changsha, the Hunan provincial capital where Zoomlion is based. Chen had written 15 articles about Zoomlion for Xin Kuai Bao, including 10 between September last year and June. A story published on May 27 this year accused Zoomlion of improper accounting methods, forcing the company to halt trading of its shares in Hong Kong and Shenzhen despite slamming the allegations as “distorted” and “misleading.” A Zoomlion spokesperson confirmed that the construction and sanitation equipment manufacturer filed a complaint against Chen with local police last week. On Oct. 23, Xin Kuai Bao’s front page featured an article defending Chen and with the headline “Please release him” in giant characters. In the article, the paper said that it had carefully combed through the facts in each of Chen’s 15 articles on Zoomlion and only discovered one minor factual error. The paper also cited other media chiefs in support of Chen, some of whom pointed out that if Zoomlion has a problem with Chen’s articles the company should have filed a civil suit against the paper rather than calling for public security officials to arrest the journalist. Chen’s wife told reporters that her husband received a phone call from police on the morning of Oct. 17, saying they wanted him to clarify some matters. He went to the local police station the next morning accompanied by his wife and was confronted by officers from Changsha, who produced a piece of paper outlining the crimes he was accused of before quickly taking him away. She said she received a call from him 36 hours later telling her that he had been arrested for damaging Zoomlion’s commercial reputation and asking for her to retain a lawyer. She said she has not seen him since.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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