Tesla China takes its brand name seriously and regularly takes defamation cases to the courts. In the latest episode, the company has secured a favorable judgment in a case of defamation against a popular Chinese car reviewer.
The car reviewer is a TikTok celebrity known as “Boss Cai,” whose real name is Cai Jia. Tesla sued him last June for maligning its name by spreading false information in a video posted to his Douyin account. TikTok is known as Douyin in China. Tesla demanded 5 million yuan ($720,000) in compensation.
In the video in question, Jia claimed a friend who was a supplier to Tesla revealed some violations in which Tesla cooperated willingly with suppliers. One of his claims was that Tesla pressured suppliers repeatedly to lower their prices during the construction of Giga Shanghai. He also claimed Tesla quality inspectors didn’t perform their jobs as expected in exchange for some personal favors.
Jia, however, refused to call his friend to witness in court, claiming he had forgotten his name under pressure. Tesla alleged that Jia used its name to promote his own company in the video.
The court determined Jia’s video was fabricated to hurt and defame Tesla. He was ordered to apologize to Tesla and pay 100,000 yuan in compensation, according to Car News China.
Jia, however, appealed the judgment, but the appeal court eventually upheld it. He now has 15 days to apologize to Tesla. Jia will post the apology on TikTok, WeChat, and Weibo for at least 90 days.