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2017-11-03 10:35:38

Beijing-based financial news outlet Caixin has lashed out at a Chinese news portal, accusing the site of infringing on copyright by republishing its articles without permission.

In a notice on its website on Wednesday, Caixin said its Chinese stock market scoop had been posted on Wallstreetcn.com’s website and mobile app without permission, making this the second time Caixin has levied similar accusations.

Caixin, which plans to launch a site-wide paywall next week, had published the article only hours earlier on a part of its website only available to subscribers.

In the statement, Caixin condemned the latest infringement, adding that it had been forwarded many times and had caused “negative effects,” without elaborating. It also planned to take legal action, the statement said.

“The action of Wallstreetcn.com not only infringes the copyright of the author, but also interferes with the normal paywall business and damages the legitimate rights of our subscribers,” Caixin said in the notice.

Caixin spokeswoman Zhao Yuhan would not comment when contacted by Sixth Tone, instead referring back to the notice on Caixin’s website. The spat is the latest involving Wallstreetcn.com and Caixin. In 2015, Caixin released a similar statement on its website, accusing the news portal of repeatedly publishing its articles without permission.

Wallstreetcn.com spokesman Yi Peng told Sixth Tone there was a possibility the two companies could start negotiations. “Both sides have released their own statements and have explained their positions clearly,” Yi said, referring Sixth Tone to a response published on Wallstreetcn.com’s website on Friday in which the company apologized for its mistake.

In the notice, Wallstreetcn.com said it had failed to follow its agreement with Caixin, according to which it is required to link to Caixin’s original report, and blamed the error on staff who were not familiar with the deal. When Wallstreetcn.com discovered the issue, it pulled the story in question from its site, and several managers at the outlet reached out to Caixin to apologize, the statement said. The story could no longer be accessed on Friday afternoon.

In a statement also released on Friday, Caixin denied that it had made any such agreement with Wallstreetcn.com. While the two companies had been in negotiations before, Caixin had made it clear that it would not authorize Wallstreetcn.com to use its content, the statement said.

Wallstreetcn.com’s latest statement contrasts with an earlier notice published on Thursday, in which the website denied the allegations and insisted that it had not infringed on Caixin’s copyright.

Wallstreetcn.com has also published stories stolen from business newspaper The Wall Street Journal, the paper’s China tech reporter Li Yuan wrote on Twitter on Thursday in response to the Caixin article, adding that many Chinese believed it to be the Chinese version of the American paper. Apart from a similar name, Wallstreetcn.com’s website shares some design elements with that of The Wall Street Journal.

When asked for comment, a spokesman from The Wall Street Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones, told Sixth Tone: “We are aware of the website Wallstreetcn.com and are currently working internally on the issue. We have no further comment for the moment.”

Wallstreetcn.com was founded in 2013 by Wu Xiaopeng, a former correspondent for the Chinese business newspaper 21st Century Business Herald, and is financially backed by Haitong Securities and Ping An Insurance. Wu was the Herald’s first New York correspondent.

Wallstreetcn.com says its vision is to help “investors know the world” and claims to be the highest-ranking product for global financial news on Baidu Zhishu, a tool that helps companies track online trends.

There are many Chinese outlets dedicated to translating foreign news, including some on social media. They sometimes skirt copyright regulations by translating articles outright — or even entire websites.

In September, a site mimicking The Washington Post appeared, complete with the original paper’s masthead and Chinese-language versions of the official site’s articles.

Correction: A previous version of this article named the founder of Wallstreetcn.com as Wu Haipeng. This has been corrected to Wu Xiaopeng.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: E+/VCG)