At the stroke of midnight on Sunday, Weibo absolutely exploded over a divorce announcement from Wang Baoqiang, an actor and beloved superstar in China.
The post has received a whopping number of comments —almost three million — leaving the Chinese internet in a mix of disbelief and anger, resulting in total chaos.
Four days later, Ma Rong, Wang's wife and business partner, is a household name in China too — though in a much more negative light.
The two used to appear very loving in public, like when Wang kneeled in front of her at a screening of one of his films in Cannes.
The divorce announcement struck a nerve with the entire country, mostly because people can't stand bad things happening to Wang, who's always cast as the innocent good guy in comedies. He's also a success story himself, having worked his way up from being a construction worker.
The amount of vitriol that's been sent Ma's way since the annoucment has been stunning. Her first public response to the accusation received even more comments than Wang's — 4.3 million — with scores people calling her a "prostitute" or "bitch."
Rumors spread that she jumped off a building in despair, but she and her accused lover — seen here chatting together in happier times — soon reportedly appeared amid Flushing, New York's enormous Chinese diaspora.
And the furor hasn't died down as the week has gone on. The state-run Global Times even published an op-ed demanding that the public not "dwarf" the Olympic proposal of two Chinese divers with celebrity gossip.
Some Chinese feminists are suggesting that the public has a double standard when it comes to women having affairs, using a recent celebrity couple's case in which the majority of the public urged the wife to forgive the husband who had an affair for the children's sake, as an example.
No matter how the divorce ends, the public's opinion of Ma seems to be solidifying. According to a recent Weibo poll, which asked "who will win, Wang, Ma or [the agent]," 97% out of the 300,000 responders are overwhelmingly on Wang's side.
Beimeng Fu is a BuzzFeed News World Reporter covering China and is based in New York.
Contact Beimeng Fu at email@example.com.
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