Best-selling Chinese author and race car driver Han Han is suing muckraking blogger Fang Zhouzi, who accused Han of using a ghostwriter for much of his work, The South China Morning Post reported.
The state-run Xinhua news agency has called the libel lawsuit "a fight between Titans of the written word."
29-year-old Han Han, an acclaimed writer, was listed as one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People of 2010," according to Xinhua news agency. Fang Zhouzi is a blogger and self-proclaimed "science cop" because of his tendency to expose pseudoscience and academic fraud.
Lu Jinbo, Han Han's publisher, said Han has made a formal accusation against Fang, asking for $15,800 in compensation, China Daily reported.
"If you read the microblogs posted by Fang Zhouzi concerning his accusation against me, you will find clear evidence of actual malice," Han Han told Xinhua news agency.
"Suing me is his right, but it will also attract more attention," Fang told China Daily on Sunday. "It's not bad to make more people know the truth."
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The lawsuit is the latest development in a heated dispute over Han Han's writing that begun in early January, when another well-known Chinese blogger claimed Han's works were ghostwritten and his image was managed by his father Han Renjun and publisher Lu Jinbo, China Daily reported.
The blogger, Mai Tian, speculated based on the dates and times of Mr. Han’s car races and those of some of his published posts that he could not have been the author of them. He argued his point in a blog post entitled “Manmade Han Han: A Farce About ‘Citizenry,’” The New York Times reported.
Mr. Han responded by offering a $3.2 million reward to anyone who could prove that his works were ghostwritten, and Mr. Mai backed off, deleting the post and apologizing, the Times reported.
However, the story blew up on China's microblogs, which published nearly 15 million posts on the subject, according to Xinhua. Mr. Fang pointed out that many of Mr. Han’s posts had disappeared from the Internet.
"Offering money to look for evidence, while at the same time destroying the proof, shows his claims of innocence lack sincerity," Fang wrote in his microblog, according to China Daily.
Han, a high-school drop-out, rose to fame in Shanghai in 1999, China Daily reported. His rebellious streak and satirical writing gained popularity among China's younger generation, and he has published 14 books and anthologies, Time reported.
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