Yes, notorious Guo Meimei is hitting the headlines all over China again, but this time, it might be the beginning of her end.
Anyone who’ve been following news in China in the past few years must have heard her names a thousand times. Claiming to be a senior manager at the China Red Cross in her Weibo profile, the 23-year-old Gou Meimei almost singly-handedly flushed the reputation of China Red Cross into toilet through recklessly flaunting her wealth online. Since the scandal broke out in 2011, donating to China Red Cross remained a synonym for stupidity. Why? As many Chinese netizens put it, “no one wants to donate so that Guo can buy another LV.”
For the past 3 years, Guo seems to have enjoyed her extravagant life as usually despite fury online or waves of calls for investigation into her relationship with China Red Cross. The situation suddenly changed when she was arrested for illegal betting on the World Cup in early July.
Since last night, Chinese state media, such as People’s Daily, CCTV and Xinhua, have been on full gear pushing Guo Meimei’s investigation results and confessions. In a widely-circulated article debunking the 5 myths of Guo, it was explained that, instead of the popular view that Guo is a “professional mistress,” she is actually a “professional escort” who charges more than RMB 100k per night (eye-popping price). According to herself, “there are many men who’d pay anything to sleep with me. There is never short of men who want me to be their mistress. But I don’t say yes to them all, because I have my standards, too.”
So why are Chinese netizens extremely unhappy about the public shaming of a much-hated (if not the most) high-profile courtesan? Because timing is everything.
The investigative reports of Guo were released on the same day when a deadly earthquake in Yunnan claimed more than 370 lives, and one day after a factory explosion in Jiangsu killed at least 75. In the minds of Chinese netizens, both deserve frontpage attention more than Guo.
After People’s Daily posted 12 reports on Guo in a row on Weibo without even mentioning the Yunan earthquake this morning, many netizens couldn’t help but drop the F-bomb. “Are these state media nuts? Why the hell do they give Guo more media attention than those earthquake victims?” Many netizens asked.
“You don’t care about the several hundred lives lost in Yunnan. You don’t care about the inglorious factory that has took away dozens of hardworking lives. And now what? You suddenly care about Guo Meimei? After ignoring years of calls for her investigation?” One netizens angrily commented.
Even worse, many netizens seem to believe that these reports of Guo are but a PR run by China Red Cross in the time of an earthquake when they need to call for donations again. As many netizens asked: “Is the current heavy media takedown of Gou Meimei a pre-donation run for China Red Cross?”
The biggest myth debunked about Guo is that she actually has nothing to do with China Red Cross. In her confession, Guo expressed her regret: “Due to my vanity, I made a big mistake, bringing great harm to the reputation of China Red Cross…I want to tell the truth to help restore its reputation. I want to send my most sincere apology to China Red Cross. I’m very sorry.”
No one seems to buy into her confession. Many questioned why China Red Cross didn’t sue Guo for the damage she has done if the two have no connection at all. What’s worse, most made the comments that regardless of Guo, they wouldn’t trust China Red Cross, or any government-backed charity for that matter, any more.