“Showing Off Wealth” Controversy Angers Chinese Netizens

1 Jul

ChinaSmack has translated an interesting story that began circulating on the Internet on June 21st regarding a 20-year-old woman who has implied, or more like ‘lied, about her connection to the Red Cross Society of China.  It has become known as the “Guo Meimei Showing Off Wealth” controversy or “郭美美炫富”的网络事件 and netizens are also angry about the way she has flaunted her wealth which has raised more questions about the origins of such wealth.  Guo Meimei (郭美美) has been overwhelmed by netizens who have engaged in what is known as a “human flesh search engine” (“人肉大搜索”) in which a large number of people collaborate to collect information and do research on a person of interest.  It’s almost a form of Internet vigilanteism.   In addition to discovering that Guo Meimei was returning from a trip and would land at the Beijing Airport, netizens also discovered that the girl’s mother was getting ready to move from Beijing.  Postings on the girl’s microblog revealed that she was moving to Australia with her mother.  Netizens are now desperate to find out where she got a Maserati luxury car, dozens of Louis Vuitton bags, and a luxury villa.  The story has become one about corruption involving several people and organizations, including the Red Cross Society of China, which has denied having any connection with her.   This has prompted netizens to call the Australian embassy and demand that they not issue a visa that would allow Guo Meimei to leave the country.  As this comic posted at QQ implies, Guo Meimei is seen as someone who has become a Pinocchio-like figure whose lies are forcing her to drive over a cliff.

The graphic below illustrates the association that Guo Meimei has with several organizations that include Guo Changjiang, (郭长江),  Guo Dengfeng, (郭登峰), Red Cross Society of China, (中国红十字会) Red Cross Society of China Business Systems, (商业系统红十字会), and Tian Lue Group天略集团.  The story continues…

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