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Weibo Servers Down After Lu Han Announces New Relationship

A Chinese celebrity’s relationship announcement led to a rare breakdown of Weibo’s servers on Sunday.

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A Chinese celebrity’s relationship announcement led to a rare breakdown of Weibo’s servers on Sunday. So many fans commented on Lu Han’s new love affair that the social media platform was inaccessible for two hours.

“Hi everyone, I want to introduce my girlfriend @GuanXiaoTong to you.” It was this one-sentence message that set Weibo on fire on Sunday, October 8.

The message was posted by Chinese singer and actor Lu Han (鹿晗 1990), who is one of the most popular celebrities on Weibo. Lu currently has 41.2 million followers on his official Weibo account (@M鹿M).

The singer previously had 43 million fans on Weibo, but lost many followers after his relationship announcement. Many fans did not like the idea that their favorite star is no longer single. Lu was formerly a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy group EXO and its sub-group EXO-M.

So many people responded to the news of Lu Han’s new girlfriend that some servers of Sina Weibo experienced a rare breakdown. Chinese media report that, according to a statement released by a Weibo Data Assistant, the two-hour network crash was the result of a data surge caused by fans commenting, sharing and liking Lu Han’s update.

By Monday, the public announcement had received 2,4 million comments and nearly 5 million likes.

Guan Xiaotong (关晓彤) is Lu Han’s new girlfriend – and everybody knows it.

Guan Xiaotong is a Chinese actress with more than 20 million fans on her Weibo page.

It is not the first time that a public announcement by a Chinese celebrity causes so much consternation on Weibo. In 2016, Chinese actor Wang Baoqiang announced that he would divorce his wife Ma Rong after she had a secret affair with his own agent. That post became one of the top-trending topics of the year.

A day after Lu Han’s revelation, searches for his name on the Weibo platform were limited and only showed a “we can not display any results for this search” announcement.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Celebs

“No Place Like Italy Innit” – Young Beckham’s Instagram Post Sparks Controversy on Weibo

Much ado about nothing? This Instagram post by Beckham has angered Chinese netizens.

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A social media post by the young Beckham son commenting on the many Asian tourists in Italy this week did not go down well on Weibo today.

Brooklyn Beckham, the 19-year-old son of celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham, has triggered controversy on Weibo today for posting photos of Chinese or Asian tourists in Italy.

The young Beckham posted several photos of Asian tourists on his Instagram account, where he has 11,5 million followers, simply writing: “No place like Italy innit” as a caption.

Popular Weibo gossip account Bage Zhuanyong (@ba哥专用), 7+ million fans, published screenshots of the post on Weibo, writing:

Brooklyn, the Beckhams’ young son, has photographed Chinese tourists in Italy without their permission, writing: ‘This simply isn’t Italy anymore [这里简直不像意大利].’ It has been the PRC National Day [holiday] recently, with many people going abroad to travel. As a result, Brooklyn has even secretly photographed Chinese tourists in the supermarket. In the comments below, many people also demand that he should show some tolerance and explain himself, and shouldn’t secretly photograph people and use such a disgusted tone.”

The Weibo post on Beckham was reposted more than 3000 times today, attracting some angry comments about him ‘secretly’ photographing Chinese tourists and seemingly sounding discriminatory against Chinese. Similar sentiments could be found under Brooklyn’s post.

Other Weibo posts about Beckham also attracted thousands of comments on the platform today, and several Chinese media also covered the ‘incident’.

“He has no inner quality,” some said: “He is nothing without his dad.”

“Before he starts discriminating other people, he’d better finish college first,” others wrote.

“He himself is in Italy too, and he’s no Italian, innit?” others wrote.

“We welcomed the Beckhams to China to come and make money here,” one Weibo user said.

On Weibo, David Beckham has his own official account, where he has over six million fans who nicknamed him ‘Little Beck’ (小贝). The footballer was previously assigned as a global ambassador for Chinese football.

Many netizens also left messages on David Beckham’s account, telling him not to bring his son to China.

The comment that the young Beckham would be a ‘baizuo’, a Chinese derogatory term refer to Western leftist liberal elites, is also a recurring one. “If I see women with headscarves in Germany everywhere, I’d also say that it doesn’t look like Germany to me,” some say, writing that Beckham would not dare to say anything about immigrants in Europe, but apparently not finding it problematic to comment on the ubiquity of Asian tourists.

But amidst all criticism, there were also voices encouraging others to show some more tolerance themselves, saying: During the National Holiday, the crowds are flocking to Beijing, or Shanghai, and we also say ‘This doesn’t look like Shanghai anymore’, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

By Miranda Barnes & Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Celebs

Alleged Accuser in Richard Liu Case: “This Has Nothing to Do with Me”

The woman became an overnight celebrity when dozens of her private photos went viral in connection to the Richard Liu case.

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Jiang Pingting became an overnight celebrity when dozens of her glamorous private photos went viral on Weibo, with strong rumors suggesting she was the woman accusing Chinese billionaire businessman Richard Liu of rape. She has now come forward denying these claims.

Ever since news has come out on the brief arrest of JD.com CEO Richard Liu (刘强东) in Minneapolis last weekend, the mug shot and arrest of the Chinese tech mogul have been a major topic of discussion on Chinese social media.

Liu was arrested on August 31st in connection to a suspected rape, after he had dinner with a group of people at a Japanese restaurant during his business trip in the USA.

Photos of the night show that a woman is seated next to Liu, with Chinese netizens and media alleging that this woman is the Chinese exchange student who accused Liu of assaulting her after the banquet.

Footage show Liu and a female sitting next to him on the night of his brief arrest.

Although Liu was released without charges the next day (status: “released pending complaint”) with JD.com officially stating that all accusations were “false,” the case continued to ignite rumors. Many netizens sided with Liu and claimed that he had been “trapped.”

One particularly strong rumor concerned the identity of the female student accusing Liu, with dozens of photos of a young, curvy woman going viral in connection to this case.

One person spreading photos of the supposed accuser is the internet celebrity Luo Yufeng (@罗玉凤), better known as Sister Feng, who has a fanbase of more than 9 million Weibo users.

“Many private photos have been exposed of the woman involved in the Richard Liu case,” she posted: “She has a big bosom and she looks hot.”

The many photos making their rounds on Chinese social media for the past days show the woman going out for dinners, relaxing on the beach, or posing while golfing.

The photos soon became popular on Weibo, with people comparing the woman with Richard Liu’s wife Zhang Zetian (章泽天).

Left: Liu’s wife Zhang and right the woman who allegedly accused Liu.

Rather than discussing the alleged rape case, many netizens seemed more concerned with the appearance and life-style of the woman, and how her body shape compares to Liu’s wife.

The female, a yoga fanatic named Jiang Pingting (蒋娉婷), became an overnight celebrity.

But now, days after her name and photos were first connected to the case, she has issued a statement on her Weibo account saying:

I am Jiang Pinting! The fact that several large media websites, without verifying, have distributed my personal details and photos assuming I am the female involved in the Richard Liu Minneapolis arrest case, has greatly impacted my reputation and has invaded on my personality rights.”

She further states that her personal life has been turned upside down by the incident.

Since 2010, Jiang writes, she has been residing in Singapore and only recently returned to mainland China. Jiang states:

I do not know Richard Liu at all. We have never met. I’ve not even been to the US recently. This incident has absolutely no connection to me.”

It is not clear why Jiang was brought in connection with the case in the first place.

Some people are critical as to why Jiang only responded to the rumors days after they first went viral. “You first waited to become famous before refuting the rumors,” one person wrote.

“I still think you’re hot,” some among thousands of commenters wrote.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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What’s on Weibo provides social, cultural & historical insights into an ever-changing China. What’s on Weibo sheds light on China’s digital media landscape and brings the story behind the hashtag. This independent news site is managed by sinologist Manya Koetse. Contact info@whatsonweibo.com. ©2014-2018

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