China Charges Labor Activist for ‘Picking Quarrels’

Chun Han Wong and Josh Chin

A Chinese activist who for years has documented worker unrest faced charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” on Friday, in a trial seen as a bellwether of Beijing’s approach to containing labor tensions.

A former migrant worker, Lu Yuyu roamed around China with his girlfriend, collecting information about public protests that he then tallied online. The detention of the couple last year closed a rare window on social unrest in China by putting a key provider of such data out of commission.

Mr. Lu’s one-day trial in the southwestern city of Dali concluded at 9 p.m. on Friday, with prosecutors recommending he be sentenced to between three and five years in prison, one of Mr. Lu’s lawyers, Xiao Yunyang, told The Wall Street Journal.