March 7, 2006

Microsoft says not involved in China journalist case

BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. said on Tuesday it had
no involvement in the case of a Chinese journalist charged with
sending subversive e-mails abroad under a pseudonym using a
Hotmail account.

The indictment of Li Yuanlong, a 45-year-old reporter,
follows accusations that Internet giant Yahoo Inc. provided
evidence to Chinese authorities that led to the imprisonment of
two journalists.

"Based on an internal review of the information available,
we have no involvement in this matter," said Brian Zhou, an
official with Microsoft China's public relations agency.

Zhou said Microsoft, which owns Hotmail, had no information
as to how the Chinese government may have identified Li, who
sent the e-mails last year using the pseudonyms "Night Wolf" or
"Wolf Howling in the Night."

Li could stand trial as early as this week, his lawyer
said, charged with sending essays that "fabricated, distorted
and exaggerated facts, incited to subvert the state and sought
to overthrow the socialist system."

In December, Microsoft shut down a blog at MSN Spaces
belonging to outspoken blogger Michael Anti, bowing to Chinese
government orders -- among a wave of cases that have
highlighted the pitfalls for Internet companies doing business
in the Communist country and the world's number-two Internet

Last month, lawyers and activists accused Yahoo of
providing evidence to Chinese authorities that led to the
imprisonment of an Internet writer, the second such case
involving the U.S. Internet giant.

Google Inc. also came under fire after it announced it
would block politically sensitive terms on its new China site.