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Chinese Reporter Who Cried On Air over Abe’s Death Attempted Suicide after Online Backlash

Chinese reporter Zeng Ying, who suffered online bullying earlier this month, posted a farewell letter on social media.

Manya Koetse

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Two weeks ago, after the assassination of Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Nara, a Chinese journalist reporting on the issue received online backlash for crying during a live broadcast covering the news.

As the clip went viral, many commenters criticized the reporter for being unprofessional and unpatriotic, and for not considering the stance of Chinese people regarding Abe’s controversial political legacy. Some Weibo users made very hateful comments, writing things such as: “If you grieve his death so much, why don’t you go join him?”

Zeng Ying, who is a Japan-based reporter for the Chinese media outlet The Paper, later wrote a post on her Weibo account in which she apologized for her ‘lack of professionalism and for putting her “personal feelings on display on this public platform.” A complete translation of her post can be found here.

On July 20, Zeng became a trending topic on Weibo once again after news came out that the reporter had allegedly attempted to commit suicide. One day earlier, Zeng Ying had posted a message on Chinese social media in which she announced that she suffered from depression and “decided to leave” and wanted to “say goodbye.”

Farewell post by Zeng Ying.

In the WeChat Moments post, the 32-year-old Zeng said that her depression made daily work and life impossible for her since early July. She also expressed concern over the future of a clothing brand she manages and the people working for the company.

Zeng Ying is not an official reporter for The Paper; she describes herself as a Japan-based Chinese entrepreneur and ‘self-media’ (自媒体) account. In 2019, she made it to the Forbes China ’30 under 30′ list for her role as the CEO of Tokyo-based Chinese marketing company DDBK (同道文化).

After Zeng’s alarming WeChat post, a befriended verified (‘big V’) Weibo blogger publicly shared her concerns over Zeng, saying she could not reach her and had already contacted Japanese police after seeing the post. She wrote she was scared and panicked because Zeng allegedly attempted to commit suicide before and “nearly died.”

On Thursday, while rumors and news about Zeng Ying circulated online, her Weibo account showed up as restricted and was no longer searchable via the platform’s search function.

Zeng Ying’s Weibo history showed the reporter shared her struggles before. “Life of course is very difficult,” she wrote on Weibo on June 26: “If you think life is sweet, then you are very lucky to have gotten the sugar that is not often obtained.”

Some commenters think the storm of criticism and online bullying Zeng Ying suffered earlier this month is directly related to her worsening condition and alleged suicide attempt.

Reporter Home (@记者的家), an official Weibo account dedicated to journalism, shared a post by reporter Li Jifeng (李继锋) about Zeng Ying, which said that she had been rushed to the hospital in Japan.

“We don’t know further details regarding this news, but we expect Zeng Ying to get through this difficult time, life is too valuable to waste,” Reporter Home wrote.

Many commenters, however, did not sympathize with the reporter, saying she was just putting up an act and writing things like: “If she genuinely liked and respected Abe, she deserves the same as him.” “Go and accompany him,” others wrote.

“Seeing everyone’s attitude, I feel hopeless,” one person reacted, with another person adding: “These comments are just scary.”

One Weibo hashtag regarding Zeng’s alleged suicide attempt (“Zeng Ying Suicide” #曾颖自杀#) was taken offline on Thursday.

We will add further details to this story once they come out.

For information and support on mental health and suicide, international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

By Manya Koetse

 

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©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Insight

Pelosi in Taiwan: “1.4 Billion People Do Not Agree with Interference in China’s Sovereignty Issues”

“The Old Witch has landed!”, many commenters wrote on Weibo when Pelosi arrived in Taiwan.

Manya Koetse

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August 2nd was a tumultuous day on Chinese social media, with millions of netizens closely following how Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan. Chinese state media propagate the message that not only Chinese authorities condemn the move, but that the Chinese people denounce it just as much.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is all the talk on Weibo, where netizens are closely following the latest developments and what they might mean for the near future of Taiwan and Sino-American relations.

“Today is a sensitive time, as it is said that Pelosi will fly into Taiwan tonight, challenging the one-China principle,” Global Times political commentator Hu Xijin wrote on Weibo on Tuesday afternoon, while Pelosi’s plane was still en route:

“At this time I’d like to tell everyone, that I firmly believe the Chinese government will definitely take a series of countermeasures, which include military actions. The Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of National Defense have repeatedly said they are “on the alert and combat-ready” and will not “sit and watch.” This is the country’s prestige, how could they not hit back? So let’s wait and see what will happen next.”

Tuesday was an extremely tumultuous day on Chinese social media as Taiwan- and Pelosi-related hashtags popped up one after the other, and news and videos kept flooding the platform, sometimes leading to a temporary overload of Weibo’s servers.

Around 20.30, an hour before Pelosi was expected to land in Taiwan at that time, more than half of all the trending search topics on Weibo related to Pelosi and Taiwan as virtually everyone was following the plane’s route and when it would land.

Not long before the expected landing of Pelosi’s plane, footage circulated on Weibo showing the iconic Taipei 101 building with a display of greetings to Pelosi, welcoming her to Taiwan and thanking her for her support.

By Tuesday night, Chinese official channels promoted the hashtags “The United States Plays With Fire & Will Burn Itself by Taiwan Involvement Provocation” (#美台勾连挑衅玩火必自焚#) along with the hashtag “1.4 Billion People Do Not Agree with Interference in China’s Sovereignty Issues” (​​#干涉中国主权问题14亿人不答应#).

Image posted by Communist Youth League on Weibo.

Millions of Chinese netizens followed flight radar livestreams, with one livestream by China.org receiving over 70 million viewers at one point.

On Tuesday night at 22:44 local time, after taking a detour, Pelosi’s plane finally landed in Taipei. About eight minutes later, Nancy Pelosi, wearing a pink suit, stepped out of the plane together with her delegation.

“The Old Witch has landed!”, many commenters wrote on Weibo, where Nancy Pelosi has been nicknamed ‘Old Witch’ recently.

Not long after, Hu Xijin posted on both on Twitter (in English) and on Weibo (in Chinese), writing that Pelosi’s landing in Taiwan opened an “era of high-intensity competition between China and US over Taiwan Strait.” Hu wrote that the PLA is announcing a series of actions, including military drill operations and live-fire exercises in zones surrounding Taiwan from August 4 to 7.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying (华春莹) also posted a series of tweets condemning the “wrong and dangerous path” the U.S. is allegedly heading down, reiterating the same ‘1.4 billion people do not agree’ narrative that was previously propagated on Weibo by official channels: “Making themselves an enemy of the 1.4 billion Chinese people will not end up well. Acting like a bully in front of the whole world will only make everyone see that the US is the biggest danger to world peace.”

Many netizens expressed frustrations over how seemingly easy it was for Pelosi to land in Taiwan despite repeated warnings. “It’s not like I want us to go to war,” one person wrote on Weibo: “But they are getting off too easy. For days we shouted about countermeasures, what kind of countermeasure is this?”

“Even our community guard who makes 1500 a month [$220] does a better job; if he says you can’t come in, you can’t come in,” another blogger wrote.

The majority of commenters do express their dissatisfaction and anger about Pelosi coming to Taiwan, some even writing: “I hope that Taiwan is liberated when I wake up” or “We must unify again, once the Old Witch is gone, we can do so.”

Passed midnight the hashtag “There Is But One China” (#只有一个中国#), initiated by CCTV, picked up on Weibo and received over 320 million views. The post by CCTV that only said “there is but one China” was forwarded on Weibo over 1,3 million times.

“Taiwan is China’s Taiwan,” many people commented.

“I don’t think I can sleep tonight,” some wrote.

Meanwhile, on FreeWeibo, a website monitoring censored posts on Chinese social media platform Weibo, there are some posts casting another light on the Taiwan issue.

“Regarding ‘Taiwan is China’s Taiwan.’ Every person can vote, there’s multi-party rule, and there can be democratic elections. Only then can we talk about a reunification,” one comment said. It was censored shortly after.

For our other articles relating to Pelosi and her Taiwan visit, click here.

By Manya Koetse
With contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Media

Chinese Internet Company Sina Abruptly Shuts Down ‘Sina Taiwan’ Platform

Sina Taiwan is longer available and has suddenly suspended its operations in Taiwan.

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WEIBO SHORT | Weibo Shorts are concise articles on topics that are trending. This article was first published

On August 2nd, Taiwanese media sources reported that the online Sina Taiwan platform was longer available and had suddenly suspended its operations in Taiwan without prior notification.

Sina (新浪) is the company that also owns (Sina) Weibo. Founded in 1998, it is a leading Chinese Internet company and media platform that operates various localized websites, including Sina Taiwan (sina.com.tw) which was established in November 1998.

Multiple sources, including Taiwanese news site ETToday , reported news of the closure of Sina Taiwan today. According to ETToday, Sina Taiwan’s parent company confirmed the company has suspended its services in the Taiwan market and ceased operations on August 1st due to the company’s “operational strategy.”

Weibo also set up a localized version in traditional characters for the Taiwan market. Earlier today, the Weibo Taiwan site (tw.weibo.com) also seemed to be inaccessible for a while but was accessible again at the time of writing.

On Weibo, the official ‘Sina Taiwan’ Weibo account (@新浪台湾爆头条) posted its last update on July 14.

News of Sina Taiwan’s abrupt closure comes at a time of heightened tensions over Taiwan between China and the U.S. in light of reports of a potential Taiwan visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (more here).

However, although the timing is noteworthy and Weibo users wonder what it means, it is unsure if Sina’s decision is related to this issue. The English-language Sina portal (english.sina.com) stopped updating its homepage earlier this year.

By Manya Koetse and Miranda Barnes

 

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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