Tycoon sues Google on defamation claim

Tycoon sues Google on defamation claim

Summary: According to reports, Google is being sued for defamation by a business tycoon in Hong Kong.

TOPICS: Google

Google is being sued for defamation by a business tycoon in Hong Kong, according to reports.

Albert Yeung Sau-shing is chairman of the Emperor Group, a business empire in Hong Kong. The 69-year-old is apparently taking the Internet giant to the region's High Court in a defamation case after searching his name through Google's search service left an unpleasant taste in his mouth.

Google's search algorithms have resulted in listings that may be considered detrimental to his name and reputation. Whether Yeung's name is input into Google Search in English or Chinese, a drop-down option for the search term plus 'triad' appears -- a connotation which is unlikely to make the tycoon happy.

albert yeung triad google sued defamation

Yeung is apparently asking for the court to issue an injunction against Google, forcing the Internet giant to block any defamatory results and also issue him financial compensation -- the amount of which has not been disclosed.

The business tycoon is likely to be particularly sensitive to anything which chips away at his reputation, as he was convicted and served prison time in the early 80's for "perverting the course of justice". The Emperor Group chairman was also forced to pay HK$20m (USD$2.58 million) after being found guilty of "insider trading" and "illegal bookmaking" in the late 90's.

Local lawyer Leung Wing Kin told Sina that in general, "mechanical issues" that display the "defamatory" phrases are not usually admissible for such cases. However, if the website operators knowingly ignore such complaints and allow defamatory complains to continue, then they could potentially be liable.

This is not the first website that Yeung has pursued through the courts. In a legal ongoing process that began in 2011, Golden Forum, The Encyclopedia of Virtual Communities and Uncyclopedia are among websites that the tycoon insists must reveal the identity of writers and stop distributing articles which allegedly contain damaging material about him.

However, Google isn't the only Internet giant in the firing line. A managing director at HSBC, Sandeep Sharma, has recently sued Yahoo Singapore in order to obtain the identity of a user who allegedly impersonated him and made offensive remarks about Singaporeans on the firm's website. 

Topic: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Google search autocomplete attacks

    There's a good example when you search for the name of Mozilla/Firefox's most prominent evangelist: https://twitter.com/timacheson/status/220130317544071168
    Tim Acheson
    • You ever think

      That those results come from the number of paired results? IOW A bunch of people referred to Asa Dotzler as an idiot and so Google pairs the name Asa Dotzler with the word idiot. Perhaps others have claimed that Albert Yeung Sau-shing is a member of the triad and so his name and that word are paired in search results.

      Now I could be way off base and Google is actually doing a passive-aggressive attack but the more likely scenario is the search algorithms.
  • Sure, let him sue.

    It's not like it's a free speech issue and google is displaying the correct results. Sau-shing should sue the individual posters. All 10 million of them.
  • WHAT???

    does that retard think there is no one with a similar name???
  • He's suing Google?! Why not Richard Stallman?

    Just about every GNU v2 license I've ever read is signed as follows:

    Ty Coon, President of Vice

    More here:


    P.S. Google has shown themselves to be, mostly, partial to the Apache 2.0 license.
    Rabid Howler Monkey