The highly publicised divorce between News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch and his third wife, Wendi Deng, has divided the online community, especially after a BBC correspondent familiar with the matter revealed on Twitter that Murdoch’s reasons for divorce were "jaw dropping".
While these reasons have yet to be publicly revealed, Chinese netizens have been quick to offer their opinions on Deng’s official Sina Weibo page. More than a thousand comments appear on Deng's last post on June 8 - many of them offering updated news combined with harsh personal commentary:
“According to reports, Murdoch regretted marrying Wendi Deng and had long wanted to divorce her," read a post by one user. "Murdoch finally saw clearly that this evil woman was glaring hungrily like a tiger at his property and assets all day long. As early as several years ago, Murdoch began to suspect Wendi and confessed to his own eldest son that he regretted taking her as his wife.”
Several comments criticised Deng, claiming that she married Murdoch only for money and may have “destroyed [the] marriage” of the original American couple that helped sponsor her visa to the United States years ago.
“Wendi Deng will use any means to make money. She has no bottom line on using people, disrupting marriages and disregarding the benefactors that have helped her get what she wants. How can she have no sense of shame? This despicable woman is the humiliation of all Chinese people,” said another Weibo comment.
“[Deng’s] intentions were evil. If we flaunt her achievements, society is just going to become more of a mess. Girls all want to find shortcuts, look for wealthy old men and destroy other people’s marriages. This all makes society more messed up,” another wrote.
Some commentators went as far as criticising Deng’s looks.
"Big sister Deng and her looks… how should I say this… [she] can only fool foreigners. If you were to go by the aesthetic tastes of Asians, I’m afraid she would be considered below average,” said a comment.
There are also Chinese netizens who voiced their support for Deng, saying that despite any negative publicity, she is still a role model who managed to lift herself up from a poor background in eastern China's Jiangsu province.
“All right everyone, calm down. Don’t criticise her. Everyone has their own problems. Although what [Deng] did was bad, the way that she was self-reliant and changed her own fate is worth studying. We would never have known about this if the [news of her divorce with Murdoch] hadn’t been exposed! And at the very least, you won’t see Wendi Deng on other people’s Weibos criticising them!”
Another supporter said: “Sister Wendi, I admire you. All these people here criticising you all lack kindness. They don’t deserve to be considered Chinese. No matter what happens you’re the pride of Chinese people. I support you!”
Finally, several Weibo users voiced their support for Deng in a different way, making reference to a new sort of Chinese “army”:
“The Chinese people’s 'Army of Women' can be compared with the American CIA and Marine Corps. They improve the American economy, make cultural breakthroughs, strike emotional blows and so on! Keep going, Army of Women! Keep going, Wendi Deng, hero for Chinese women! Fight for the face of all Chinese women! Strive on and punish those old foreigners!”
A similar comment called Deng "China's biggest export".
“After many years of being dormant, she’s returned from the ‘deep sea'! Wendi Deng, the people of your motherland welcome you to come back to China with your one billion dollars and make some investments...
"You make all women jealous. Now Obama finally knows: You can defend yourself against China’s People Liberation Army, but you can’t defend yourself against China’s ‘Wife Army!’”