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Guo Meimei Red Cross Controversy Pissing Off Chinese Netizens

Guo Meimei pointing at you.

Guo Meimei pointing at you.

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.

From ifeng:

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.

Guo Meimei's Sina Weibo profile page.

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.

Guo Meimei:

2008: Renting, using a domestic mobile phone, selling cars.

2011: Upgraded to a sports car and villa [detached single-family home].

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.

Guo Meimei and her Maserati sports car.

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”.

Statements:

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.

Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

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 “uncovered” that Guo Meimei’s mother is currently moving at Hou Xian Dai Cheng. At around 10 o’clock at night, a netizen posted on their microblog that Guo Meimei is on a flight returning to Beijing, and publicized the flight number, arrival time, seat number, etc.

This early morning at 1:30am, Guo Meimei appeared wearing a black t-shirt and red shorts, a cap worn low over her face, and a website journalist following her asking questions, but she didn’t provide many responses and left immediately after getting in a taxi.

Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

Guo Meimei at the Beijing Capital International Airport.

From Tianya: (deleted, no longer accessible, some reposts here and here)

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Guo Meimei: Australia is not your safe harbor

Regarding further developments in the “Guo Meimei baby” incident, yesterday while she was flying from Shenzhen to Beijing, there were netizens constantly broadcasting her itinerary on their microblogs. Upon arriving at Beijing, this girl calmly and with a low-profile got on a taxi and left. However, according to netizens at the scene and media reports, someone was on the telephone with her throughout it all, instructing her on how to act/what to do. And not long after her person left, two new postings appeared on her microblog [another different account], ridiculing netizens and expressing that in two days, she will leave China for Australia. [Sina] Weibo netizen @三爷笑人生 made a screenshot of these microblog messages, and several minutes later, these microblog postings were deleted, but netizen @三爷笑人生 already saved the evidence.

Guo Meimei on an different Sina Weibo account mocking netizens, saying she and her mother will be going to Australia.

Her first message: Coming to the end, next week running off to Australia with Mommy, leaving this lousy place, hahaha.

Her second message: Can’t handle it anymore…

Given that this girl is the main character involved in the Red Cross Society’s corruption case, if she leaves the country, it will interfere with determining the illegal origins of the Maserati luxury car, dozens of LV bags, the luxury villa, etc, and the whereabouts of the people’s donations will become a mystery. [Sina] Weibo netizen 三爷笑人生 issued a call online to collect signatures on the internet and call the Australian embassy in China, requesting that the Australian government suspend the visas for Guo Meimei and her mother. Amongst them, netizens 无弦 无歌 and 中山首里 have already called the embassy asking the Australian government to suspend the visas for Guo Meimei and her mother and received a response from the Australian embassy personnel saying they are already aware of the internet incident and will relay the message to their superiors. The Australian Embassy telephone is: 010-51404111.

After netizen 三爷笑人生 posted his call, he received enthusiastic responses from netizens, with the number of microblog reposts breaking the thousands, with innumerable netizens calling the Australian embassy’s telephone, asking the Australian government to suspend Guo Meimei and her mother’s visas. At the same time, the signature collection campaign initiated by 三爷笑人生 has already broken into the thousands. Some netizens have worried whether or not this Weibo microblog account belongs to Guo Meimei, but according to netizens in the know, this Weibo account is Guo Meimei’s secondary account; and it was because not many people know of this account that she dared to reveal that she was leaving the country and mock netizens. The reason why netizens are so angry with this incident is due to not knowing where the money the public donates goes and with the suspects involved being able to escape [with their ill-gotten gains] and live happily without consequences.

Guo Meimei and her mother.
Guo Meimei and her mother.

Comments from Tianya: (no longer available)

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无弦无歌:

The Australian Embassy can communicate in Chinese. Their attitude is very harmonious and civilized, not bad~~

wowmh:

The departments and people involved in this incident remain calm and relaxed as still water. We still haven’t heard any actual meaningful explanations. Public opinion, like the people, is just a fart [to those in power, public opinion is powerless].

我是谢俊威:

Where did the money come from, why delete postings, don’t think about fleeing so long as these aren’t explained.

yyapp2006:

The key is morality and law, to avoid the private use of donations and corruption, I hope the government will thoroughly investigate this matter…

墨姐在啃扒肘子:

Don’t ride the same transportation as this girl.

God is going to punish her.

Our power is weak after all.

Now everything depends on whether or not God will open his eyes.

江一拍:

Support, the truth must be presented to netizens!

羡慕嫉妒恨l:

Getting soy sauce… Is there a shortage of corruption in China??? This matter will eventually pass, there are too many “black hands” behind the scenes, whose power is too strong…

笛里关山之:

With so many corrupt officials all around us we turn a blind eye, yet bark furiously at a pretty face.

黑色的幸福:

Ding, will call for all my friends to call tomorrow…
Another thing, could it be a decoy, changing to another country?? Everyone pay close attention…

nina0113:

Soon this post will probably be deleted again, as any post about her that is getting some attention will be identified and all locked/censored, to stop the lowly people from organizing, stop them from exercising supervision! Let those “black hands” behind the scenes continue their arrogance! Continue stirring up trouble! If in the end this matter is [intentionally] left unresolved, then let us all just live our lives numbly in the future! Let us all be zombies!

沸水麒麟:

We should take precautions, netizens hurry and call the Canadian and New Zealand embassies and apply pressure. These two places were formerly gathering places for the children of government officials, then gathering places for the children of the wealthy, and if Guo MM isn’t able to flee to Australia, her next step I bet will be to apply for visas to these two places!!!

妖公子宸羽:

The government is probably already really regretting allowing the internet in this country. If they hadn’t, and it were like in the past where it was closed-end [information] management, how nice it would be, and nothing would be uncovered or exposed…

天仙妹妹的粉丝:

[She] must be a mistress. Everything else that websites are trying to make this matter into I think are just speculation trying to make a bigger fuss.

过邻盯洋:

If she’s gone, it can protect a lot of people.

风过无痕520521:

Looking on [standing around and just spectating] won’t change China, but we can change ourselves.
If Guo Meimei Baby is able to escape this, then this country is already unable to be saved. At least I will no longer ever donate even half a mao [10 cents] of money. I’d rather donate it to Libya, because at least they’re courageous and upright people!!

Photographs of Guo Meimei:

Below is a collection of photographs from Guo Meimei’s NetEase photo album which was made public following a Chinese netizen human flesh search, many showing her before her plastic surgery. Also included are a number of photographs Guo Meimei posted on her Sina Weibo account. Many of them show off her expensive possessions and rich lifestyle, which is what first caught the attention of Chinese netizens and led them to question her self-proclaimed profession as a “Business General Manager for the Red Cross Society” and whether or not her lifestyle was somehow funded by money donated to the Red Cross Society.

Guo Meimei and her middle finger.

There are currently screenshots circulating that allegedly show Guo Meimei boasting on Sina Weibo that she will buy out Sina, as well as rumors that she has already fled to Hawaii. Her secondary Sina Weibo account where she first ridiculed netizens by saying she would be going to Australia currently shows a photo of a tropical beach and some icons of a plane, rainbow, and speed boat.

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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.