You will be redirected to your destination in 20 seconds.
DaVinci allegations raise questions about integrity of Chinese reporting
Those following the DaVinci Furniture scandal in China may have noticed some interesting developments in the story.
The retailer, originally accused of selling Chinese-made furniture it marketed as Italian-made, said the TV reporter that first broke the story blackmailed DaVinci by taking an estimated $150,000 for not publishing more negative reports about the company.
This indeed is a serious charge that taints not just the reporter with China Central Television, but also other Chinese news organizations. As the New York Times and other news outlets have reported previously, some Chinese news outlets have promised to kill negative stories in return for large cash payments. Others have reportedly accepted cash payments in exchange for favorable coverage.
The CCTV reporter, as expected, denied these claims and a spokesperson for the state-owned CCTV did not return a comment for the Times story. Thus, it becomes uncertain who, in fact, is telling the truth here, particularly as there was also a middleman involved in the alleged extortion. DaVinci released audiotapes to Chinese business publication Caixin that included conversations with the middleman involving the alleged transaction.
While such tapes could be seen as further evidence against the CCTV reporter, it doesn't necessarily weaken the case against DaVinci. That's because a government agency that investigated the original claims found evidence that DaVinci was in fact selling Chinese-made furniture billed as Italian-made. Such misrepresentation to consumers resulted in a $211,000 fine against the company. The government also has taken the retailer to task for selling products that did not meet certain quality standards.
Still, the allegations against the reporter are troubling, particularly for journalists who want to pursue the truth versus financial gain. How does all this change your view of the DaVinci case?