World of Weibo

Hainan high jinks

Guo Meimei grabbed headlines again

Back in issue 151, WiC talked about some of the image problems facing sports car owners in China. But one of the country’s most exclusive car clubs did little to help matters last month after a ridiculous spat on weibo, China’s Twitter-equivalent.

Members from the Beijing-based Super Car Club or SCC (rumoured two years ago to require a minimum of a $220,000 Porsche SE 911 for entry) got into an unseemly row with Guo Meimei, another young Chinese who seems to court notoriety whenever she gets the chance (see WiC113).

The backdrop was the Hainan Rendez-Vous, a networking event attended by thousands of fuerdai or young, second-generation rich. Hosted at the Mandarin Oriental resort in Sanya, the four-day gathering welcomed plenty of exhibitors in luxury real estate, yachts and private jets. But the post-event buzz was more about the late-night revelry, especially when the mainstream press began to pick up on gossip suggesting wanton behaviour by the attendees.

A row between Guo Meimei and two members of the SCC took centre-stage in reports on the event. Hitting back at accusations that she had gone to Hainan to meet wealthy men, Guo countered that she didn’t even attend and was in Macau during the period. She even posted photos of herself grasping Rmb5 million worth of casino chips, plus a message that she was “too rich to need to sell sex”.

Two members of the SCC then responded with screenshots of what they claimed to be their own bank accounts, showing Rmb3.7 billion (almost $600 million) and Rmb9.9 billion in available funds respectively.

“How dare you call yourself rich in front of me,” one is said to have sneered.

The dispute was later deleted by all the parties involved but not before enough had been said for thousands of other weibo contributors to castigate the fuerdai for flaunting their wealth. (The consensus was that the bank records had probably been photo-shopped.)

Hainan attendees then told reporters that the soirees weren’t much more than wine parties and that talk of lascivious behaviour was being spread by people furious at not getting an invite. But rather than a must-attend affair, some stars were soon making clear that they had been nowhere near the event, including Wang Xiaofei, a businessman married to Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu (see WiC101 for more on the weibo skullduggery at his own wedding, also on Hainan).

“Time will tell, and the truth will be known: my family is the most important component in my life…we hope to live a life under sunshine not haze,” Wang announced, posting screenshots of flight information from his mobile phone showing that he couldn’t have been in Hainan at the time mentioned.

Although the dust has now settled on the altercation between the SCC and Guo Meimei, it will be interesting to see whether the rumours about the wild nightlife in Hainan make future gatherings harder to sell to members of China’s business elite.

In fact, a man named Wang was soon telling Hua Shangbao, a newspaper from Xi’an, that he had investors interested in hosting a similar event in Changsha in Hunan later this year.

“But the main purpose is to display yachts and high end cars, and not to host group sex parties,” Wang reassured the reporter, helpfully.

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