Apex Chairman Detained
Dec 31, 2004
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The chairman of Apex Digital Inc., a major U.S. supplier of low-cost TVs and DVD players, was detained in China, said a U.S. official, as a second Chinese company revealed Apex owed it millions of dollars.

The confirmation of David Ji's arrest, following Chinese media reports this week that he had been detained on fraud charges, came as DVD player maker Genius Co. Ltd. said California, U.S.-based Apex owed it U.S. $4.3 million.

Chinese TV maker Sichuan Changhong Electric Appliance Co. Ltd. Also said Apex owed it $467.5 million and provisions against the debt would leave it with a big loss for 2004.

"The U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu has confirmed the arrest of David Longfen Ji," an embassy spokeswoman in Beijing told Reuters. "Consular officials have requested and were allowed consular access to this U.S. citizen." She did not say why Mr. Ji had been arrested.

Calls to Apex's headquarters in Ontario, CA, U.S., were unanswered. The company, which distributes DVD players, televisions, and other electronics to U.S. stores such as Wal-Mart, denied knowledge of Mr. Ji's detention.

However, company spokeswoman Marietta Schoenherz said Apex, which was the top seller of DVD players in the U.S. in 2003, was struggling to meet U.S. TV orders. (Reuters)

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