The website of one of China’s top universities has been attracting a very high number of visitors - and at one point crashed on Sunday. But it was not the US National Security Agency who was responsible. It was all due to the photo of an attractive young female graduate on the site.
This incident occured at Beijjing's Renmin University of China amid a time when high school graduates have almost completed their college entrance exams; many people suspect the photo is one of the ways the university uses to attract new students.
The school’s decision to put up the photo - which is unusual for Chinese universities - not only drew countless clicks on its website, but also excited people’s curiosity as to who the student was.
According to The Beijing News, she is the university's arts school graduate majoring in the double bass. Her photo was shot by a 2011 graduate, Mao Yanzheng, who is now a professional photographer.
“It’s unbelievable that it takes only one photo to make a person famous,” Mao told the newspaper. He shot over 300 photos and chose two he thought were the best for the university’s website. Mao said he only did it as a favour.
The university’s decision to use the photo sparked different views online. Some netizens praised the picture for capturing the beauty of youth during graduation time. “This student embodies the elegant, fresh look of our graduates,” a Renmin University graduate commented online.
Some admirers even dubbed the attractive graduate a “RenminU goddess.” This term is very popular among young people in China to refer to pretty women whom they find unattainable.
However, others did not approve of putting her photo on the website, saying it was a deviation from the university’s fundamental principles. “Is Renmin University about entertainment or academic work?” one person asked online. Others said it was indicative of the failings of China’s education system. “Do schools now advertise their academic work, or how beautiful their students are,” another internet user said.