Charity cross and seeing red over online claims

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, June 23, 2011
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The Red Cross Society of China says a woman who boasted about her extravagant lifestyle online and who claimed to be general manager of Red Cross Commerce is not its employee.

Guo Meimei 

The charity organization said there was no such institution as Red Cross Commerce.

According to her microblogs, Guo Meimei, 20, owns several luxury sports cars and dozens of designer handbags. Her young age, lavish lifestyle and her verified title of Red Cross Commerce general manager aroused curiosity among microbloggers. There were rumors she was the daughter of Guo Changjiang, vice president of the Red Cross.

The woman's flaunting of her wealth sparked anger in the online community with many posters accusing the Red Cross of being a corrupt organization and saying they wouldn't donate money in future.

"The Red Cross is so rich. Anybody who donates money to it is a big fool!" was one comment on, a major online forum.

Yesterday, Guo Changjiang told that the woman was not his daughter. "She is not my daughter. I don't have daughters," he said.

The Red Cross was contacting Sina Corp, operator of the Twitter-like service,, to ask how the woman's details had been verified, he added.

A "V" sign on Guo Meimei's personal page, meaning that her personal information had been checked and verified, has been removed. In a statement, Weibo apologized to the Red Cross and users for failing to carefully review Guo Meimei's information and pledged to tighten up the verification process.

Guo Meimei was originally verified as an actor.

Later she filed an application to change her title to the general manager of Red Cross Commerce, which Weibo didn't check carefully, according to the statement.

In the face of mounting online anger, Guo Meimei responded on her microblog yesterday saying she had no relations with the Red Cross.

She also said she wasn't the daughter of the organization's president or the granddaughter of Guo Moruo, a late Chinese scholar.

Suspicions that the whole affair was a stunt to gain media attention arose after the number of Guo Meimei's followers shot up from several thousand to more than 50,000 by yesterday afternoon.

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