Real estate billionaire Wang Shi’s divorce and new girlfriend

Having a mistress in China would not normally be front page news. But when you are a 61-year-old famous real estate mogul and renowned entrepreneur and when your new mistress is a pretty, 31-year-old actress – that’s front page front and centre. Hence all over various front pages in China today are revelations that Wang Shi (王石) has divorced his wife for his girlfriend Tian Pujun (田扑珺). The Internet in China is well and truly abuzz with the news that the “old rich and handsome” (老富帅) has a “new joy” (新欢).

Wang Shi (王石) is best known as the CEO of Vanke (万科), the biggest residential real estate company in China. According to Hebei News, Wang made his first fortune of three million yuan in 1983 by selling cheap corn from northern China to southern China in deals that were facilitated by his father in law’s position as Vice Party Secretary of Guangdong Province. Known as “China’s real estate godfather” (地产教父), Wang is also a famous mountaineer, counting Mount Everest among his conquests.

The tweet that set the Internet on fire

According to Shenzhen Evening News (深圳晚报), the Internet frenzy began on Sunday when a reporter from Caijing magazine (财经杂志) posted the following on Sina Weibo, together with the image at left:

“Various sources have now confirmed Wang Shi’s change in marital status. Proceedings for the divorce of Wang Shi and his wife Wang Jiangsui (王江穗) will be completed within the year.”

Online speculation soon became rampant that Wang’s new love is a post-80s generation actress called Tian Pujun (田扑珺), who achieved some fame for her role as the wife of Prince Dun in the popular television series Legend of Zhen Huan (甄嬛传). The two apparently met at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China, and have been spotted in the US together (where Wang was studying English during the last year). Today’s Shanghai Morning Post included an article headlined “Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Denies Acting as Matchmaker”.

Yesterday morning a picture surfaced on Weibo showing Wang and Tian sitting next to each other on an air plane, which the tweeter-photographer confessed he had taken back in January but had refrained from putting online until now. The Wang Shi affair has been the top trending topic on Sina Weibo all day today, and Sina have set up a special topic about it.

With discussion of his supposedly extramarital affairs now a leading topic on the Internet, Wang issued a personal statement asking the public to respect his privacy and denying that he had ever betrayed his family. Yet his new love certainly makes a pretty front page:

 

Links and sources
Shenzhen Evening News: 财经记者网曝王石离婚
Guangzhou Ribao: 王石爆婚变万科逆市涨:都红了
Huaihai Evening News: 王石与80后女星相恋
City Lady: 地产大亨王石情迷80后演员
Shanghai Morning Post: 长江商学院否认“拉郎配”
Hebei News: 端宏斌:王石为何敢抛弃原广东省委副书记的女儿

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