[월드리포트] “I was quarantined in the house of a man I met” Controversy over manipulation of a woman in China
Recently, a video uploaded to Chinese social media has become a hot topic not only in China but also around the world. In Zhengzhou, Henan Province, a woman went to a men’s house to see a match, but the area was suddenly shut down, so it is a video that says that she has been staying at the men’s house for several days. It has been accepted as an example that clearly shows the current Corona 19 situation in China. The pitiful situation of a woman who has no choice but to stay in the house of a man she met for the first time has drawn public attention. Leading media outlets, including the Korean media, CNN in the US and the BBC in the UK, reported on the woman’s story.
“I was locked in a Corona 19 lockdown after seeing a man at home”… quickly become famous
Here’s the story. Ms. Wang, a woman in her 30s working in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, returned to her hometown of Zhengzhou, Henan Province, ahead of the Lunar New Year, China’s biggest holiday. Wang wrote on SNS, “As I got older, my parents became more worried, and my relatives in my hometown arranged 10 face-to-face meetings.” It was the fifth match that became a hot topic. The opponent I was meeting with liked to cook, and to show off my cooking skills, I invited Mr. Wang to his house to meet. However, towards the end of dinner, a lockdown fell on the apartment complex with the man’s house, and Wang was unable to get out and was locked up in the man’s house. In a video uploaded on the 10th, it was said that he had been staying at a man’s house for four days. In China, where Corona 19 is spreading, including Omicron mutations, if a confirmed person is confirmed, the apartment is sealed and PCR tests are performed on all residents. If the spread is severe, the entire city may be locked down. Although Zhengzhou is not completely locked down, some residential complexes that have confirmed COVID-19 are in lockdown. Wang’s story is plausible enough. Wang said that the man prepares dishes and cleans for himself every day, and took a picture of it and posted it on social media. “It’s an awkward situation, but I’ll do my best,” he said. “I hope the COVID-19 will pass as soon as possible,” he said.
Wang’s so-called ‘accompanied isolation with opponents’ diary was very popular on Chinese social media. On Weibo, the hashtag #a woman who returned to Zhengzhou to see a match was quarantined at her husband’s house due to an epidemic # was created, and the number of views exceeded 30 million. Wang’s video posted on the Chinese version of TikTok Douin also got more than 110,000 likes. Mr. Wang became famous in such an instant.
“The apartment cannot be quarantined”… The hashtag “I manipulated it to get attention” appeared
However, from the 12th, the atmosphere of Chinese social media has changed. The ‘setup controversy’ arose. The claim is that Mr. Wang is not quarantined in the house he met. Some netizens have found clues to where the man’s house is in the videos posted by Wang. Based on the appearance of the interior and exterior of the building, the appearance of the parking lot, etc., he inferred the apartment complex in which the man’s house was located, and claimed that the apartment was not isolated. He said it was impossible to cook so many new and varied dishes every day in quarantine. Based on the post Wang posted on social media, he also said, ‘How can I sleep comfortably every day in the house of a man I don’t know?’ Suspicions arose that the situation was manipulated to attract attention on social media. This time, on Weibo, a hashtag # falsified to be quarantined in a man’s house he saw a woman confronted in order to attract attention has appeared.
Wang deleted some of his videos that he once posted on social media. The reason was that ‘unwanted attention is inconvenient’. On the 14th, the video was uploaded again on Wang’s Dowooin account. However, some videos have been deleted. The comments are mixed with messages of support such as “Cheer up” and “The whole country is waiting for your news”, and criticisms such as “Release the apartment you are staying in” and “It seems like a lie”. Wang did not disclose whether he was still staying at the man’s house or what apartment it was in. On the 12th, Mr. Wang left a comment saying, “I have been scorned by netizens all day long” and “I want to hold on to this relationship no matter how hard it is.
In China, people who spread false information related to COVID-19 are punished. In Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, which was completely blocked in December last year, six people were punished, including detention for five days for two netizens who circulated an article that ‘a nurse spread Corona 19’. People who leak false information that the city is not locked down are also being punished for creating anxiety. There is no word yet that the Chinese investigative authorities have stepped forward in this controversy. But whatever the conclusion, the aftertaste seems to be bitter. This is because the current reality of COVID-19 is the social media culture that goes beyond the limits.