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Celebrity Infidelity and Affair Dominates Chinese Internet

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The biggest news over the weekend is actor Wen Zhang being caught betraying his wife actress Ma Yili in an affair with another actress Yao Di by paparazzi. Photos proving Wen Zhang and Yao Di being intimate together were leaked online, with many marveling that paparazzi could identify Wen Zhang even when his face was almost completely covered with a face mask and large sunglasses.

Both Wen Zhang and Ma Yili are well-known for their roles in the popular 2007 《奋斗》 Struggle mainland Chinese television serial drama. Yao Di was Wen Zhang’s co-star in the popular 2011 mainland Chinese serial drama 《裸婚》 Naked Wedding. Both TV serials reflected popular modern Chinese pop culture and social issues.

Wen Zhang (left) and Yao Di (right) in Naked Wedding.
Wen Zhang (left) and Yao Di (right) in Naked Wedding.

Wen Zhang is popularly perceived as a 小男人 “small man”, a man who is not stereotypically macho/manly and is instead cute, sweet, and romantic. This is helped by the fact that his wife Ma Yili is 8 years older than him. They have one daughter and she is pregnant with their second child. This is part of the reason why this entertainment industry gossip has been so big, dominating major Chinese portal websites (in both pageviews and comment discussion) and microblog social network Sina Weibo as well as being spread on Tencent messaging applications Weixin/QQ…

From NetEase:

Wen Zhang Admits to Infidelity: I’ve Failed Ma Yili, I Invited Trouble

NetEase Entertainment March 31 report — At around midnight on March 31st, Wen Zhang posted a statement “about ‘See You Monday‘”, admitting to having an extramarital affair, claiming “to have invited trouble/asked for it”. This put a period on the weekend “See You Monday” internet circus. Wen Zhang says in his statement, “Everything up to now has been myself asking for trouble; wrong is wrong, and has nothing to do with anyone else.” He also said his own acting career has gone very smoothly [successfully], causing “me to become arrogant, to become cocky”, leading to this crisis today. He expressed “today I am willing to bear all of the consequences.”

Wen Zhang expressed, “Actually, I’m really thankful that you have all allowed me to fall on this day, as opposed to the future when I have become insufferably arrogant. I need to sort myself out once again, to calmly face and sincerely apologize [for my mistakes]!” He says he has failed Ma Yili and his children, failed his family, failed the name of husband and father, “failed all the people who have placed their hopes and expectations in me.” Wen Zhang said “my wrong behavior” do not deserve forgiveness, and that the hurt/harm caused is difficult to make up for, “but I want to make up for it, must make up for it, and this will be my life from this point on.” Finally, he expressed “from this day on, I will no longer fail others.”

Statement Suspected of Being Ghost-Written, Possibly Not Written By Wen Zhang Himself

What’s more interesting is that Wen Zhang’s statement has four “failed” in it, but the “failed” in “failed Ma Yili and my children” was in simplified Chinese, whereas the “failed” in “failed my family, failed the name of husband and father, failed all the people who have placed their hopes and expectations in me” was in traditional Chinese, seemingly proving that this statement have different authors, leading to suspicions that it was not written by Wen Zhang himself.

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On microblogging platform Sina Weibo, the statement mentioned above posted by Wen Zhang at 12:04am is currently the #1 hottest post of the day with nearly 650k upvotes, over 1.2m reshares/forwards, and over 1.5m comments…

From Sina Weibo:

@文章同學: Regarding #See You Monday#

wen-zhang-infidelity-affair-with-yao-di-affair-weibo-statement

Everything up to now has been myself asking for trouble; wrong is wrong, and has nothing to do with anyone else. The smoothness of my acting career has caused me to become arrogant, to become cocky, leading to this crisis today, and today I am willing to bear all of the consequences. Actually, I’m really thankful that you have all allowed me to fall on this day, as opposed to the future when I have become insufferably arrogant. I need to sort myself out once again, to calmly face and sincerely apologize [for my mistakes]! I, Wen Zhang, have in my life written an essay [Wen Zhang’s name also means “essay”] with grave mistakes. I have failed Ma Yili and my children, failed my family, failed the name of husband and father, failed all the people who have placed hopes and expectations in me. I’m sorry, please accept this apology and regret from the bottom of my heart. Yili and my children could have had a warm and beautiful life, but all of this has been shattered by me. My wrong behavior does not deserve forgiveness, and that the hurt/harm caused is difficult to make up for, but I want to make up for it, must make up for it, and this will be my life from this point on. As for myself, having invited trouble, I hope that from this day on, I will no longer fail others. — Wen Zhang

Wen Zhang and wife Ma Yili.
Wen Zhang and wife Ma Yili.

A microblog post by his wife Ma Yili posted 3 minutes later is the the second hottest post of the day, with over 1.6m upvotes, over 600k reshares/forwards, and over 850k comments….

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From Sina Weibo:

@马伊琍: Although love is easy, marriage is not, to be seized/cherished.

The top two most popular Sina Weibo trending topics and #hash tags#are also about Wen Zhang and Ma Yili.

Below are translations of Chinese netizen comments in response to Wen Zhang’s and Ma Yili’s microblog posts respectively…

Comments from Sina Weibo:

豆花妹的衣橱:

Those who feel Wen Zhang is not sincerely repenting, please click [like]. [so far over 32k likes]

啊靖靖靖靖靖靖啊:

The reason I’m scolding you is because my girlfriend is also older than me by 5 years and I’ve finally convinced her family to let us be together. I even used you and the commanding officer to make my analogy/point! Fuck, now her family will be against us again. Fuck, you owe me a girlfriend! [怒][怒][怒][怒]

盼宝宝Panda:

The highest order of male scum are those who have hurt their wives, let the xiaosan take the blame, while they themselves are able to start afresh. Click like, thanks. [ok]

洋小妞Oh-yeah:

Can you give all of your assets to your children and Ma Yili? Leave without taking anything! If you can, and Yao Di remains with you, then I’ll definitely support you guys! What do you think, Wen Zhang? [酷][酷]

脱俗的霸气:

“I’m really thankful that you have all allowed me to fall on this day”? This part is somewhat interesting. I normally don’t comment on Weibo, much less the Weibos of celebrities, but what you’ve said here is wrong, Wen Zhang. Those who have allowed you to fall are not us who were once your fans. You still haven’t understood your own error. Remember that it is you yourself who allowed yourself to fall. Don’t find excuses on other people. Please don’t make fun of me, I’m just saying what I want to say.

Comments from Sina Weibo:

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东生–要转运:

Those who agree that Yao Di is garbage please give me 32 [likes]. [so far nearly 15k likes]

克蕾儿呼:

I’m truly wondering how Yao Di can block everyone’s comments [on her microblog], aren’t we her bread and butter [her audience/fans]? Without us, could she still continue her acting career…? Since she has blocked us, shouldn’t we block [boycott] her? Those in support, click [like]… [so far over 14k likes]

余龙勇-:

If this news is real, then with Ma Yili being pregnant, Wen Zhang asking for a divorce would be illegal, but if Ma Yili asks for the divorce, not only does it mean Wen Zhang would completely lose child custody, it would also mean a 90% chance of Wen Zhang losing everything in the divorce. If infidelity is proven, then Wen Zhang would have nothing. Everyone click [like] for Mr. Wen to have a world of nothingness ahead of him. [over 13k likes]

罗欣婷8:

Yao Di, out of the entertainment industry… those in agreement click [like].

安安靖靖的生活:

At this point, you can’t have a falling out with Wen Zhang, or else it’d be equivalent to pushing him away, which would be making it too easy for Yao Di. First forgive him and then you’ll occupy the moral high ground, making it so it costs Yao Di her reputation but she still doesn’t get him. As for Wen Zhang, first torment for a period of time, then when things turn around, trample him again. Only this would be sufficiently satisfying. [愤怒]

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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