DENVER (CN) – Chinese government officials will have more time to remove a lawsuit accusing them of yanking a U.S. network’s deal to provide cable service to a city in China, the 10th Circuit ruled.
Big Sky Network Canada sued the leaders of the Sichuan province and the Chingyang district for terminating its deal to offer cable in Chengdu City, the capital of the province.
Chinese government officials were three weeks late in filing for removal to federal court. The district court found just cause for the delay, and so did Judge Gorsuch.
Gorsuch accepted the defendants’ explanation that they are “far-flung governments in southwestern China that have never before been hauled into an American court.”
Also, Big Sky is not entitled to an exception to the Chinese governments’ sovereign immunity, because the failure to collect funds abroad does not qualify as a “direct effect” of commercial activity in a foreign country.
Big Sky, which is based in the British Virgin Islands, had invested almost $2 million in a joint venture with a Chinese cable company before the Chinese government outlawed foreign partnerships in 2001.