Red Cross’ China Scandal – This Time About Sex
Chinese netizens just cannot get enough of Guo Meimei, a 20-something girl who almost single-handedly dragged China Red Cross, China’s biggest charity body run by the government, into a rabbit hole of endless scandals. Yesterday, a new one emerged, and it started with a sex tape as big as 17.2 gigabytes.
Two years ago, Guo Meimei, then a “manager at China Red Cross”, showed off her fancy sports cars and luxury handbags on Sina Weibo, China’ leading microblog service. It was the start of an online row that China Red Cross still hasn’t been able to recover from till today.
The recent Ya’an earthquake in Sichuan province showed once again the worsening reputation of China Red Cross among the public. On April 23, in what many netizens believed an attempt to rectify its name, officals from the supervision committee of China Red Cross announced that they will re-open probe into Guo Meimei case.
Three days later, on April 26, Wang Rupeng, general secretary of China Red Cross, said on his Weibo account that there will not be any new investigations:
“No one from China Red Cross has ever said that we would re-open probe into GMM (Guo Meimei), nor did the supervision committee make any such decisions. It was a personal suggestion made by supervision committee members Wang Yong and Liu Zhuqi. Some journalists made a big deal out of it and mistakenly reported that we’ve decided to re-investigate GMM. It is a hoax that I don’t know how to respond to.”
Well…Chinese netizens, whose angry at the organization never really fades, know how to respond. They asked: “What changed the organization’s decision to re-investigate the case?” What they found isn’t pretty. Rumors are that Wang withdrew the possible new probe because Guo Meimei threatened to disclose what she knows and…she knows a lot.
On April 25, netizen 央视淇儿, a TV host working for China Central Television, posted on her Weibo that after receiving news of a possible re-investigation, Guo sent the following words out: “If China Red Cross dares to touch one single hair of me, I will immediately expose insider stories of its corruption. I’ve sent related materials to the US. I dare you!”
This is entirely unverified information. No one knows whether Guo indeed said so. However, at the same day, rumors of a sex tape as big as 17.2 gigabytes featuring Guo and a few high-ranking China Red Cross officials started to go viral. Many netizens believed that the tape is only Guo’s first card. Within 24 hours, #17.2# is already the 16th most talked about keyword on Weibo, and “China Red Cross denied re-investigation of Guo Meimei case” is on the top trending topic list.
Netizen 和菜头, a popular account on Weibo, gave a recap: “1, Media reported that China Red Cross would re-open probe into Guo Meimei. 2, Rumors of a 17.2G sex tape went viral. 3, China Red Cross announced that it was a misunderstanding, and that there won’t be any re-investigation. Conclusion: This is the worst PR nightmare of all PR nightmares.”
All kinds of conspiracy theories start to fly. Yesterday on the international IP Day, several pirate video sharing and streaming sites were closed. Many netizens joked that they were closed because the government don’t want people to download Guo’s 17.2G sex tape.
So far, there is no confirmation of whether the sex tape exists at all. Many claimed that they’ve watched it, but none of the download links works. Nevertheless, damage is done. This may just as well be a new low for China Red Cross’s public image. Most netizens believed that China’s biggest government charity has chickened out.
Among waves of shouts of “Bravo, Guo Meimei,” many asserted that China Red Cross will never regain its reputation without a thorough and transparent investigation of Guo Meimei.