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The Chinese edition of the women's magazine Marie Claire drew a huge backlash among Chinese internet users earlier this week. On Monday the magazine published an exclusive interview with Guo Meimei, a young woman who became infamous earlier this year for flaunting her wealth. Her case led to accusations of corruption in China's Red Cross, where she initially claimed to work.
It was meant to give her side of the story, but an article on 20-year-old Guo Meimei by the Chinese edition Marie Claire has had netizens fuming—so much so, that the article was removed from Marie Claire's website.
The women's magazine published an exclusive interview with Guo on Monday. It detailed her life story—including how she has coped since sparking an online fury in June, when pictures of her excessive lifestyle began circulating on the Internet.
Pictures like these—Guo posing next to a Maserati, and flaunting expensive handbags, went viral. But Guo's blatant show of wealth annoyed netizens, and propelled her into public scrutiny. Many began questioning how her and her mother—a single parent—had accumulated their wealth. Guo's retraction of a claim that she worked for China's Red Cross also fueled skeptics.
Guo, who aspires to be an actress, has tried to address the controversy through various media. But each attempt has been dismissed by netizens as a publicity stunt. And it kept going when Marie Claire published their exclusive interview.
Netizens rejected Guo's explanation that her mother became wealthy through the stock market. Others questioned her relationship with the man who had apparently given her a Maserati as a gift. This comment on a reposting of the article states: "This feels like a story being made up."