China Author Sues for Defamation Over Ghostwriting Claims

By | February 13, 2012

Celebrity author Han Han has filed a defamation lawsuit in Shanghai against a writer who alleges some of Han’s prolific works were penned by others.

Han, a novelist and semiprofessional race-car driver popular among young Chinese, and muckraking science writer Fang Shimin have squared off in China’s lively blogosphere over the claims.

A notice on the website of Shanghai’s Putuo District Court last Friday said the court had accepted the lawsuit. No details were given.

Fang, whose pen name is Fang Zhouzi, is known for crusading against fraud in scientific research. He has alleged that some of Han’s works were written by Han’s father, the novelist and magazine writer Han Renjun. In writings online, Han Han has denied the accusations.

Han did not respond to calls Friday, and his father and Fang did not respond immediately to emailed requests for comment.

Han, 29, dropped out of high school and did not attend college, but began his writing career by winning a prestigious local writing award when he was still a teen. His sly online critiques of social issues have a huge following among members of China’s post-80s generation.

In a recent post on his blog, he insisted that “all my words are written by myself,” and explained that the mature tone of his early works was a deliberate effort.

He said that going to court was “not cool,” but that he felt he had to defend his work.

Fang said his criticism was aimed at avoiding having Chinese youths being “misled by a false idol.”

“The courts should not be involved in an academic debate and have no ability to judge this,” Fang wrote.

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