The Chinese lynch mob

Welcome to China, the world’s biggest internet market:

Wang Fei’s infidelity deeply upset his wife. She wrote of her distress in a diary, and then jumped from their 24th-floor balcony.

Her family posted details of Wang Fei’s affair on the Internet, angrily blaming him for his wife’s suicide. Soon, tens of thousands of Chinese Web users knew about Wang Fei.

Many felt incensed, so they revved up a “human-flesh search engine,” which is what Chinese Internet users call their Web hunts.

They appealed to fellow Chinese to ferret out information about the philandering husband and humiliate him.

They posted photos of Wang Fei and details about his job, his car’s license-plate number and his national ID number. Even his parents were drawn into the fray.

“Internet users went to the house of Wang Fei’s parents and painted a lot of nasty slogans, like, ‘You should pay back with blood for what you did!’ ” said Zhang Yanfeng, Wang Fei’s attorney.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

Site by Common