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China Insider: Hainan Rendez-Vous and its Sex Scandal — Outrage a la Carte

Posted: 04/11/2014 8:02 pm

Downright disrespectful lot, the poors. Why must they hate the rich? Why aren’t the captains of industry allowed to sip their champagne and eat their caviar fetter-free? With the weight of the world upon their shoulders, must they always need to shrug off the bitter attacks of the poors and their compulsive need to be supplied with cake?

The Hainan Rendez-Vous is just your normal, run-of-the-mill convention for the average Wang or Zhang to browse through this year’s new multi-million dollar collection of yachts and private jets. Held annually in Sanya, Hainan Province, the fledgling luxury exhibition managed to strike a nerve last year when rumors spoke of massive sex parties to which famous celebrities like Wang Xiaofei and Sun Xing were photographed having attended.

Those poor rich people. The indignant outrage of the internet would be galvanized and ignited by this decadent symbol of the rich like a divine match up in heaven. All related information that exposed the secret lifestyle of the rich and famous were ravenously consumed by the masses so that they can properly condemn the bourgeoise and their non-counterfeit LV handbags..

This year’s Hainan Rendez-Vous wrapped up on March 30, and already the condemnation by Chinese netizens was as heavy as the interest was rapt. Insider terms like “society girl”  (外围女) have long flooded the public consciousness because the average person needs to know the obscure term to call those people busy in the background of “Eyes Wide Shut”, just as there will be a term for hiring a jazz pianist to play two notes all night so long as he can pass the audition.

To drive up the hype, a reporter from Phoenix Entertainment went undercover in the inner circles of the Hainan Rendez-Vous in order to write an expose of its notorious sex culture. The report would insinuate a major Hong Kong entertainment company was behind the hiring of many of these society girls. This unnamed company would demand secrecy from these sex workers through non-disclosure agreements while party attendees would wear face masks to hide their identities yes just like that really boring movie again. All the same, the report did not provide any concrete proof or names, and there’s still no word as to whether or not Nicole Kidman got to say the last line.

Well, sanctimonious people of the internet: we hope you’re satisfied now. Everyone is so outraged at Hainan Rendez-Vous, and yet it wasn’t even held last week in Sanya, Hainan. Instead, someone else had stolen the name and held an event without the organizer’s consent. Meanwhile, the host of the event which is still called “Hainan Rendez-Vous” by everyone in China has in fact not denied the charges of prostitution, and are looking to cooperate with Hainan police in cracking down upon these “sex scandals” you’ve been hearing about.

Hainan Rendez-Vous (the actual organizers) insist that they have absolutely no connection to the nefariousness that was going on in Sanya, while the host of the Sanya event has insisted that any actual licentious and illegal activities that were going on were not officially sanctioned by this non-sanctioned organization that just happen to be rendez-vous (lowercase) in Hainan.

So everyone can stop being angry. Poors: your indignant outrage has been misdirected, this obviously must be some kind of mistake. With this many denials going on, one more counterfeit “Hainan Rendez-Vous” needs to be established so that all of these Matryoshka dolls may ride the kick back up to the waking world after hitting of the raw subconsciousness of Leo DiCapprio’s throbbing forehead.

And honestly, being angry is no way to amass a fortune. It just gets in the way of being greedy.

Photo: Hainan Rendez-Vous


China Insider: Everything you need to know about the Wen Zhang scandal

Posted: 04/3/2014 7:31 pm

The most viral post made in Weibo history; a battle of privacy rights; the death of traditional media by new media — these terms are currently buzzing the Chinese internet, but you may still find yourself at odds with the hottest celebrity scandal currently being discussed by your co-workers or students.

Here then is everything you need to know about the Wen Zhang love triangle scandal. In simple terms, it’s sex, betrayal and typecasting, but to fully understand why China has gone collectively bonkers over this story, we’ll present this information in (mostly) chronological fashion:

wen zhangMeet Wen Zhang. He’s a B-list actor. He’s made a name for himself acting in roles in which he serves as the mild-mannered milquetoast. He’s basically an emasculated James Marsden who keeps losing his women to Ryan Gosling in the Notebook, Superman himself, and the Dark Phoenix.

ma yili

This is Ma Yili. She’s also a relatively successful actor. The two worked together on the 2007 Beijing TV drama about Gen-X’ers in angst, “Struggle” (奋斗, watch online here). Wen and Ma got married in 2008, and the two become a celebrity couple that are ranked somewhere on the same tier as Courtney Cox and David Arquette.

Here’s Yao Di. Yao worked with Wen on a television show called “The Era of Naked Marriage” (裸婚时代) in 2011 (watch online here). The show makes waves by exploring the taboo practice of getting married without having first purchasing a house and car for your new family, thereby being “naked”. Yao portrays a strong-willed woman who gets knocked up by her boyfriend Wen, a man who isn’t manly enough to buy a house before engaging in coitus.

wen zhang

Wen Zhang confronts his being typecast in luckless roles as the mild-mannered milquetoast (or in Chinese parlance, 小男人, which literally means “little man”) by stating in a 2011 promotional interview that he takes “no offense” to the term and in fact hopes to become China’s “#1 milquetoast” in celluloid form.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

Rumors have long circulated about Wen Zhang’s infidelity with actress Yao Di. Celebrity photographers have known about the rumor for half a year, but have yet to provide any substantial “evidence” for a judging public. Two photographers from Southern Entertainment Weekly, Chen Chaohua and Xie Xiao, tracked down Wen and Yao in Shenzhen, Guangdong. Yao was shooting a movie on location here, and was also about to celebrate her birthday.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

The photographs show two people that appear to be in love, but can not be positively identified due to the pains they have gone to to disguise their identities. Southern Entertainment Weekly teases their readers by hyping the release of the photos with the hashtag, #SeeYouMonday. However, the secret is known to industry insiders, and the company is put under enormous pressure. For that reason, Southern Entertainment Weekly does not wait until Monday for its print edition, but instead publishes the photos online using its social media networks.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

China loses its collective conservatism and is outraged in undignified ways. The most common sentiment concerns Ma, the wife who is currently taking care of Wen’s two children, one of whom was just born a month ago. Furthermore, the typecasting of Wen as China’s Steve Buschemi if he had more romantic roles leads to universal disbelief that such an inferior man could cheat on his wife, an act only alpha-males are deigned worthy of performing.

wen zhang apology weibo ma yili yaodi affair

Because apologies are much more effective on the internet, Wen makes an apology to his wife on Weibo from Guangdong by posting to the #SeeYouMonday hashtag. It becomes the biggest thing on Weibo since always, forever and ever, totes real. Sent in the early morning of March 31, it currently has 824K likes, 1.2 million forwards, and 1.8 million comments. Conspiracy theorists believe Wen did not write the apology letter himself on the basis that both Simplified and Traditional Chinese script appear in the apology, and that only a joint cross-strait alliance is able to express how sorry he is for cheating on his family. Furthermore, other analysis point out that Ma is eight years older than Wen, and that such an age discrepancy was doomed to failure.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

Ma proves that celebrities are as attached to their phones as we commoners by posting a reply to Wen’s apology not three minutes later his initial post. Also an extremely popular Weibo post itself, Ma’s response includes the ambiguous yet poetic line, “Love is easy, marriage is not; cherish what you’ve got right now.” This quote becomes a meme in itself because TV and movies are not as good at conveying poetry as Weibo is.

Wen is not finished with breaking out of the mold. Wen sends another Weibo, this time directly at the two photographers who caught him cheating. Wen takes the unbecoming yet manly stance of accepting all responsibility for his actions, and urges the two not to implicate others. He states that he himself is fair game, and that he will accommodate the two if they want to keep up the fight. This is the internet equivalent of taking off your shirt and revealing your wife-beater, again a non-typical Wen Zhang move. (It doesn’t count when it’s a promo shot.)

Throughout this ordeal, Yao Di has not made any statements. She may be still into snail mail for all we know. Scented pages, you know.

wen zhang yao di affair scandal ma yili weibo

Recently, Wen was photographed returning to Beijing. The lawyer for Wen and Ma state that rumors the couple are to divorce are false.

Photos: Weibo, meilishuo, tvsou, taopic, nipic, ilitu, dreamgoing, 7808, hsw, mszz, edu-hb, usportsnews


Maybe this is why people are reluctant to donate to charity? Shenzhen family scammed

Posted: 03/11/2013 10:30 am

A Shenzhen family which had been sponsoring a boy in an impoverished village since 1993 has discovered that the boy received no more than 10% of what they had been sending to him, Shenzhen Satellite Television reports. The family was kept so in the dark that they thought the child they sponsored, in Jiangxi Province’s Jinggangshan, was female.

At least four people were taking a cut of what the family was donating, in what could be the biggest scandal related to a Chinese charity since Guo Meimei took to the internet in 2011 to talk about how rich she had got while being associated with the Chinese Red Cross.

For two decades, the family had been donating at least 400 yuan a year to Chen Qiaoxi (a female sounding name), who was a primary school student when they started. In 2011, Chen came to Guangdong to find a job, which was when they discovered that he was a male.

Chen Chubi, the mother of the sponsoring family, told reporters of her surprise when she discovered that Chen had received no more than 40 yuan a year from the family.

Chen Xiaoqi, who now works in Zhongshan, said he had received donations from several families in Shenzhen while growing up, but no individual donation amounted to more than 40 yuan a year.

Yuan Yanting tells reporters of her disappointment.

A reporter from Information Daily in Jiangxi Province told media that his paper was leading an investigation into where the donated money was going.

Yuan Yanting, daughter of Chen Chubi, said she was disappointed but would continue to donate to charities after verifying their credibility.


Shenzhen official earns RMB20k a month, has properties worth RMB40 million

Posted: 01/31/2013 7:00 am

As Guangdong Province pilots the drive to make government officials declare their assets, one of the most high profile cases in the country of a well-connected person illegally acquiring properties is the ‘house sister’ scandal.

Now Shenzhen appears to have its own ‘house brother’ if the claims of the ex-wife of Mr. Liang, the manager of a State-owned telecommunications company, are true.

Liang, 36, has an income of just 20,000 yuan a month but has acquired 20 properties worth a total of 40 million yuan, according to Southern Metropolis Daily. In 2011, he married Luohu-based middle school teacher Ms. Wang after knowing her for eight months.

On December 6 last year, Liang filed for divorce in Luohu District due to irreconcilable differences. Wang demanded 500,000 yuan as part of the divorce, but the court ordered him to pay her just 93,000 yuan.

In reaction to the unsatisfactory settlement, a big red sign was put up on a street in Futian District Tuesday accusing Liang of illegally acquiring the wealth.

Wang claimed responsibility for the sign, and alleged that Liang acquired most of the wealth between 2004 and 2006 when regulations were mosre lax and houses were cheaper than they are now.


800 bottles of soy sauce blended with carcinogenic industrial saline solution

Posted: 05/30/2012 7:00 am

If there is one culinary staple Laowi and native Chinese can agree upon, it would probably be soy sauce. The salty substance is ubiquitous in Chinese cooking and has successfully infiltrated cultures far beyond the Middle Kingdom. However, following a report over the weekend in the Nanfang Daily, you may want to consider switching brands, if not avoiding the sauce entirely.


According to the report, Foshan based Gaoming Weiji Seasoning Food, has been using some very dodgy methods in the production of its soy sauce. Rather than seasoning their soy with table salt as is normal practice, Weji seasoned close to 800 bottles of mushroom flavoured dark-soy, and light soy with a carcinogenic industrial saline solution. The 800 bottles have already been sold to local retailers.

Following an investigation by the Industrial and Commerce Bureau, it was discovered that the company had in excess of 26 tonnes of the saline solution stock-piled in its factory. According to investigators, as the industrial solution is substantially cheaper than table salt, Weiji were hoping to cut production costs, and in turn, increase profits.

The controversy however doesn’t end there. While Weiji is a relatively small enterprise, the company was initially registered by Hai Tian Flavouring & Food Co. Ltd., the largest flavour and seasoning producer in Foshan. Despite the relationship, Hai Tian has thus far denied any corporate association with Weiji or involvement in the scandal.

This of course is not the first time local businesses have been caught replacing common cooking products with cheaper, unsafe alternatives.  Last September we told you about the Guangdong Public Security Bureau’s crackdown on gutter oil. Apparently we can now add carcinogenic industrial saline solution to the list.


Guangzhou bank caught charging for jobs, but only foreign banks singled out

Posted: 05/26/2012 7:00 am

The Guangzhou Daily published an interesting story this week that alleged an unnamed foreign bank was hiring Chinese interns only if they had RMB500,000 in the bank.

The China Daily noted the practice is an unspoken rule in China, whereby people either win jobs through connections or buy them.  The news is wrong but isn’t terribly surprising, considering China takes the old adage “it’s who you know, not what you know” to an extreme.  Having spent many years in Beijing, I know many people who were hired at several Chinese banks purely based on their family connections (many of whom had almost no skills to speak of).

The practice is wrong, no doubt, as China Daily points out:

The applicants did not receive equal treatment in the interview process. This breaks the Employment Promotion Law which gives every worker equal rights. Some lawyers have even suggested that the applicants who suffered unequal treatment can seek compensation for discrimination. And the bank has invited suspicion by selling products during the recruitment process, which is against the bank’s social responsibility as a renowned listed company.

We just find it interesting that this “foreign bank” is being called out, considering the practice is so widespread among homegrown Chinese banks.  The China Daily had to toss this gem in there, too, just for good measure:

Other big-name foreign companies have also been using their famous names to cheat Chinese consumers. We should punish any illegal behavior on their part and Chinese consumers should stop blindly worshipping all foreign brands regardless of their quality.

Considering just this month cow’s urine was found in milk produced by Mengniu Dairy and Chinese farmers were found spraying cabbage with formaldehyde, there might just be good reason why Chinese people tend to trust foreign brands.

But then again, foreigners make easy targets.




Proof that sending lewd images online knows no boundaries

Posted: 07/8/2011 12:14 pm

Anyone who pays any attention to the news will know that New York congressmen Anthony Weiner resigned last month after sending lewd photos of his… uh… junk to women over Twitter. But it now seems that tweeting naked pictures of oneself is far more popular than originally thought.

Next up is a sub-district office director from Baiyun District in Guangzhou, Liu Ning. He sent photos of himself sans clothing to his mistress on China microblogging service Sina Weibo, apparently unaware that, well, it’s public.

He’s been busted just as badly as Congressman Weiner, with images of himself circulating on Sina Weibo and in the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.

(On another note, one wonders why a man with his particular physique would find it compelling to share naked photos of himself?)

Shanghaiist notes that, coincidentally, a recent conference in Guangzhou for Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference members outlined how to use Weibo for political discourse:

Caixin Online reports that during the session (which had officials signing up for accounts on the feckless People’s Daily weibo service), attendees ‘laughed lightly’ when Liu was referred to. We’re sure some shifting in seats and looking to the side was also involved on top of that.

You can read more here:


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