A Shanghai court recently ordered a man, who published a false story late last year that Chinese EV maker NIO was negotiating a bankruptcy and liquidation with law firms, to pay NIO 300,000 yuan ($44,400) in damages and to publicly apologize for at least 90 days, according to Tencent Auto.
On November 13, 2019, Liu Yue's article titled translated as "NIO is in talks with multiple law firms for bankruptcy liquidation" was published on the WeChat public account he runs, and it attracted widespread attention.
The article stated that starting in October 2019, NIO's legal department had telephoned a number of large law firms to inquire about and consult on matters related to NIO's bankruptcy and liquidation.
Subsequently, NIO President Qin Lihong responded by saying that this was purely false news.
In January 2020, Liu Yue published his "Letter of Apology to NIO", saying that the article was widely reported by the media and reprinted by the public, which caused great negative impact and harm to NIO, for which he felt deeply guilty and regretful.
Tencent Auto recently reported that the Shanghai Jiading District People's Court recently held a public hearing on July 24, 2020, on the case between plaintiff NIO and defendant Liu Yue over online infringement liability, and the case has been concluded.
The court ruled as follows:
The defendant Liu Yue shall immediately cease publishing statements on Sina Weibo that infringe upon the reputation of the plaintiff Shanghai NIO.
The defendant Liu Yue shall delete the 185 comments he posted on his Sina Weibo account within ten days of the effective date of this judgment.
The defendant Liu Yue shall, within ten days from the effective date of this judgment, issue an apology letter to the plaintiff Shanghai NIO.
The defendant Liu Yue shall compensate the plaintiff Shanghai NIO for the infringement damages of RMB 300,000 within ten days from the effective date of this judgment.
The defendant Liu Yue shall compensate the plaintiff Shanghai NIO for its attorney's fees of RMB 80,000 within ten days from the effective date of this judgment.
The defendant Liu Yue shall compensate the plaintiff Shanghai NIO for the notary fee of RMB 22,111 within ten days from the effective date of this judgment.
Reject the remaining claims of the plaintiff Shanghai NIO. If the obligation to pay money is not fulfilled within the period specified in this Judgment, the interest on the debt shall be doubled for the period of delayed performance.
The case admissibility fee is RMB 25,798, of which RMB 23,488 shall be borne by the Plaintiff Shanghai NIO and 2,310 yuan by Liu Yue. The amount to be borne by the defendant Liu Yue shall be paid to the Court within seven days from the effective date of this Judgment.
On the day of the false article was published, NIO shares were trading at $1.9. As of Tuesday’s close, NIO shares were 10 times that price and was trading at more than $19.