Guo Meimei Red Cross controversy pissing off Chinese netizens
Perhaps the most popular controversy on the Chinese internet over the past week has been about a 20-year-old Chinese girl named Guo Meimei, her wealth, and how her wealth may have come from corruption in the Red Cross Society of China. Many incredible twists and turns have occurred in this ongoing controversy that has confused many, so below is a translation of a Chinese reporter’s effort to explain how this story has developed so far, as well as the latest updates involving Chinese netizens petitioning the Australian embassy to deny Guo Meimei a visa to prevent her from fleeing China.
This morning, when Guo Meimei appeared at the Beijing Capital International Airport and was besieged by over 10 media reporters, the “Guo Meimei showing off wealth” internet controversy reached a climax in the real offline world.
Since June 21st when Guo Meimei first was exposed on microblogs for showing off her wealth, until yesterday when she posted 3 apologetic microblog posts in succession, just how did a 20-year-old young girl come to be besieged by netizens? And why is it that the statements of the relevant government organs and companies are unable to get the trust of netizens?
This reporter, while putting together the path this incident took as it spread on the internet, discovered that over 7 days, she made one lie after another, and we believe that her lies will definitely be exposed.
1. Incident begins (June 21st evening)
June 21st evening, a netizen discovered the Sina Weibo verified user “Guo Meimei baby” ["郭美美baby"] really liked to show off her wealth, and even identified herself as the “Business General Manager of Red Cross Society”. Within 2 hours, her microblog was shared over a thousand times.
Guo Meimei: The Red Cross Commerce that I am at and the Red Cross Society of China have a partnership; Red Cross Commerce is a commercial business and is of a different nature from the Red Cross Association.
Red Cross society of China: No response.
2. Human Flesh Search (June 21st evening onward)
Parties involved: Red Cross society of China, Sina Weibo.
June 21st evening onward, netizens began a “massive human flesh search“.
Netizens discovered Guo Meimei’s Netease photo album [see photos below] and her information on the 58.com automotive sales website. She has had plastic surgery before, previously rented in Shenzhen and Beijing, dressed and decorated her room very ordinarily, and was using a domestic clam shell mobile phone [not foreign name brand like Apple, Samsung, or Nokia].
Yet in less than 2 years, she’s moved into a large villa, is driving a luxury sports car, and has suddenly become rich.
2008: Renting, using a domestic mobile phone, selling cars.
2008年 租房 国产手机 卖车
2011: Upgraded to a sports car and villa [detached single-family home].
2011年 换跑车 别墅
Red Cross society of China: No “Red Cross Commerce”, no “Business General Manager” position, and no employee by the name of “Guo Meimei”.
Sina Weibo: Guo Meimei’s identity/profession was initially verified as an actress and later personally applied to have her profession changed to “Business General Manager of Red Cross society”. Sina’s existing verification procedures are not strict.
3. Getting to the bottom of the matter (June 22nd noon onward)
Parties involved: Red Cross Society of China, Shenzhen Tian Lue Group, Red Cross Society of China Business Systems.
A netizen “uncovered” Guo Meimei as a car model under the Shenzhen Tian Lue Group banner, has close relations with the group’s upper level management, and even came to know Red Cross Society of China Vice President Guo Changjiang through the Tian Lue Group.
June 24th evening, the Red Cross Society of China, Red Cross Society of China Business Systems, and Tian Lue Holding Group issued statements regarding the “Guo Meimei Incident”.
Red Cross Society of China: Vice President Guo Changjiang has no contact with Tian Lue Group’s Chairman of the Board Qiu Zhenliang. We have already reported this matter to the public security organ, and have decided to launch legal proceedings.
Red Cross Society of China Business Systems: We have never authorized Tian Lue Group to conduct any fund-raising activities, much less divided/embezzled money from donations.
Shenzhen Tian Lue Group: No relationship with Guo Meimei.
4. More developments (June 22nd afternoon onward)
The Guo Meimei Showing Off Wealth Incident continued to develop, with the content of her latest microblog update having already been reposted/shared over 100,000 times.
On the Tianya website, a picture began circulating that detailed the relationships in the Guo Meimei Incident, with Guo Meimei at the center, and the Red Cross Society, Red Cross Business Systems, Tian Lue Group and others arranged around her.
The people and organizations/companies involved in the Guo Meimei Incident: Guo Changjiang, Guo Dengfeng, Red Cross Society of China, Red Cross Society of China Business Systems, Tian Lue Group.
5. Ridicule and jeering (June 25th)
On the afternoon of the 26th, Guo Meimei one again posted a statement on her microblog, continuing to distance herself from having a connection to the Red Cross Society.
However, she did not respond to what netizens cared about which is the issue of her sudden wealth, and the style/tone of her speech was completely different from before, resulting in wide-ranging skepticism and suspicion.
6. Apology (June 26th afternoon)
“Guo Meimei Baby” posted three microblog messages in succession [1, 2, 3]: “I have already received severe criticism and condemnation from family and friends! These past few days, I have been reflecting on the harm and headaches I have caused everyone with my thoughtless behavior and hope netizens will stop creating a fuss. I have decided to use even more time to reflect upon myself and educate myself!”
“Guo Meimei Baby” said: “I ignorantly claimed that I was a ‘Business General Manager for Red Cross Society” on Sina Weibo, and for the damage to the reputation of the Red Cross Society of China and the public misunderstandings that my ignorant behavior has caused, I deeply apologize! I have never worked at the Red Cross Society, and this identity was something I completely fabricated.”
7. Follow-up (June 26th evening)
Locations: Hou Xian Dai Cheng [a residential community in Beijing], Beijing Capital International Airport.
June 26th around 8 o’clock in the evening, netizens