Update August 25:
Soon after this was published, Xue Manzi ran into trouble with the police. See this Shanghaiist story: Chinese-American investor Charles Xue arrested in Beijing in ‘prostitution’ sting.
It seems that other social media figures are also being targeted by police. On August 25, Daily Telegraph correspondent Malcom Moore tweeted the following:
Zhou Lubao, the whistleblower who exposed the luxury watch of the mayor of Lanzhou, has also been arrested. Night of the long knives?
Link to original tweet
The front page yesterday of the Hainan-based Southern Metropolis Daily featured a headline for a page three story entitled “13-year-old girl collecting bottles to help her grandmother moves whole country’s netizens”.
The girl in question is Wu Xiaodie, from Jiuzhou village within the Haikou metropolis of Hainan province. Her family is very poor, her mother left when she was a baby, her father works as a laborer outside the city, and her paternal grandparents raised her. But Xiaodie’s grandmother needs medical treatment to remove a chest tumour and her father’s meager wages are not enough to afford it. So to try and save enough money, Xiaodie collected discarded bottles to exchange for small change at recycling depots. Her story was first reported on 15 August by the Hainan-focused HiNews website, complete with photos of her sifting through piles of trash searching for bottles.
On the morning of 17 August, the Southern Metropolis Daily, HiNews, and CCTV News all published calls on their official Weibo accounts to assist Xiaodie by donating through a special telephone hotline, with the appeal being reposted over 10,000 times, including by large media outlets such as the People’s Daily and Yangcheng Evening News.
However, the big break for Xiaodie came at 7 pm on 17 August, when famous angel investor and 2013 Danwei Model Weibo Worker Xue Manzi posted a public service project to raise donations for Xiaodie’s cause on the Sina Weibo Micro-Charity webpage under the title “13 year old girl collects bottles to help her grandmother cure her illness”. The fundraising goal was set at 100,000 yuan. By the evening n 18 August, donations had reached a total of 37,928 yuan. One day later the figure stood at over 80,000 yuan and briskly rising, with almost one thousand people having made donations. Read more