Planet China

Swift denial

The love life of American pop star Taylor Swift often makes headlines. But perhaps none has been stranger than a completely unsubstantiated bit of speculation this month that she has a new Chinese boyfriend.

The American pop diva is known for her string of high profile romances with stars such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Joe Jonas and Tom Hiddleston. That’s why when someone suggested in the weibo-sphere that “America’s number one singer” is dating a middle-aged Chinese tech tycoon, Chinese internet users quickly tried to guess who it might be.

They soon settled on Charles Zhang because the founder of search portal Sohu is one of the few Chinese tech bosses that is still single (though he is a good deal older than Swift at 52 years-old).

The rumour gathered so much momentum that even Sohu’s share price – which has been lacklustre for years – got a boost. Finding himself at the centre of a viral internet story, Zhang was forced to make a clarification online. “It’s a rumour! No taste for foreign women!” he insisted. “ I don’t even know who Taylor Swift is,” he added of the 27-year-old singer.

All the same, netizens seem to have found Zhang’s rebuttal almost as funny as the idea they were dating, with many suggesting that he is just playing hard to get.

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