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Beijing court hears bottled water defamation case


BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- A Beijing court on Friday began hearing a defamation case involving a newspaper and a leading bottled water company.

Nongfu Spring Co. Ltd accused the Beijing Times of maliciously publishing false, negative reports on the quality of its product.

From April 10 to May 7, the Beijing Times published 76 negative reports totaling 67 pages, which seriously damaged the reputation of the company, according to Nongfu.

Nongfu claimed that the newspaper's reports lacked factual basis, adding that the opinions of the administrative departments quoted therein were fabricated. It is claiming compensation of more than 200 million yuan (about 32.58 million U.S.dollars) from the newspaper.

The Beijing Times at the same time accused Nongfu of damaging its reputation by publishing articles in other media saying the Beijing Times's reports were fabricated. It is also claiming a nominal one-yuan compensation from the bottled water company.

The court hearing began at 9 a.m. at the Beijing Chaoyang District People's Court and lasted three hours.

The court will continue to hear the case.