As media criticism of Toshiba looks increasingly like a national campaign, three Beijing users of its notebook computers sued the company for damages and a public apology, while two shops said they would no longer sell the notebooks. In March, Toshiba agreed out-of-court to pay US$1.05 billion to United States users of its notebooks to end a lawsuit by two customers who said the floppy disk control could potentially damage data storage. No one in the mainland paid attention until May 8, when a mainland company put the news on its Web site, accusing the company of treating mainlanders as second-class citizens by paying them nothing while giving American users an average of US$443. A vice-president, Masaichi Koga, came to Beijing on Monday to explain that this was due to differences between US and Chinese law but his explanation fell on deaf ears and the media barrage has intensified. Three users in Beijing filed a suit in a Beijing court on Thursday, demanding 93,000 yuan (about HK$87,066) in compensation, a public apology and legal costs. The suit says Toshiba knew for 10 years that its notebooks contained faults, including in the floppy disk control system, but did not correct them and did not tell users about them. In Chengdu, capital of the southwest province of Sichuan, local firm Sichuan Lianbang Software sent a letter to Toshiba's office in Chengdu demanding a public apology and compensation for infringement of mainlanders' rights by not revealing the faults. The Dingzhi Computer supermarket in Chengdu and Beijing Web site store Shihuakai EC 123 stopped selling the notebooks on May 17. On Thursday, the China Consumers Association held a meeting to discuss the case, at which lawyers and officials expressed support for those suing Toshiba. Officials of the National Computer Testing Centre said they would be happy to help in the case, while National Industrial and Commercial Bureau officials supported the claimants and said those who sold goods in the mainland must obey mainland laws. On Monday, Mr Koga said his firm had since 1985 produced 15 million notebooks worldwide and never faced a single lawsuit except for the one in Texas. 'We did not pay compensation and do not admit legal responsibility for any fault,' he said. Toshiba has sold 200,000 notebooks in the mainland through Legend. Last month, it opened a factory in Shanghai.