Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Rights and Reason: Man Sues Bureaucrats in China Over Name

This report from Elaine Kurtenbach, AP Business Writer:

SHANGHAI, China - An aspiring businessman hoping to tap China's growing enthusiasm for capitalism is suing communist bureaucrats who vetoed his plan to register a company whose name includes the once-taboo word, "capitalist."

Lu Yuzhang tried to register his "Shanghai Capitalist Competition Capability Consulting Co. Ltd." as a private company earlier this year, but he said officials rejected the name as "politically sensitive" and detrimental to national interests.

Seeking recourse through the courts, Lu sued the city commercial bureau officials, demanding they reverse their decision and approve his company name.

"Capitalists and capitalism exist in China. That's a fact," said Lu, a recent college graduate. "The calling of capitalism is absolutely legal and in line with the national benefits."

Lu's suit has prompted a minor debate in Shanghai's state-run media, with some experts accusing the young businessman of seeking publicity and others backing his demands as reasonable and legal.

"Western multinationals have been asked to invest in China to `exploit' Chinese workers. Leading capitalists from those countries are serving as advisers to the mayors of Shanghai and Beijing," noted a commentary in the Shanghai Star.

"All these things would have been regarded as sheer capitalism three decades ago," it said.

Lu said he plans to appeal if he loses.

"I will insist," he said.
He should.

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