Chau Chak Wing
Chau Chak Wing (Image: AAP/Peter Rae)

Two relatively safe things to say about Dr Chau Chak Wing are that he is very rich and very litigious. He has this year taken down The Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC in defamation cases. The Herald sank to the tune of $280,000 (it’s launched an appeal). The ABC hasn’t lost its case yet, but it has lost its defence (the ABC has also launched an appeal against this decision).

Is this another death blow to press freedom in Australia?

It began with a 2017 Four Corners program about Chinese influence in Australian politics and universities. Chau wasn’t the main focus. If you don’t know him, Chau is a Chinese-born Australian citizen, well connected, fabulously rich, and generous with his donations to political parties and universities.