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China: Around The Nation

Weibo in meltdown over heartthrob Luhan’s new girlfriend

Social network scrambles to get services back on track after surprise announcement causes huge spike in traffic

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 October, 2017, 4:05pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 11:10am

China’s Twitter-like social network Weibo went into meltdown on Sunday when pop star Lu Han (also known as Luhan) made a surprise revelation about his new girlfriend, online news site Phoenix News reported on Monday.

The noon announcement about actress Guan Xiaotong on Luhan’s official account sent Weibo’s traffic to record levels and paralysed some of its servers.

About half an hour later, Weibo’s customer service team said engineers were working to fix problems stopping some users from refreshing feeds or loading comments or pages.

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Server function was fully restored at around 4pm, according to a Weibo programmer.

Luhan, 27, is a former member of the wildly popular K-pop boy band EXO. He and Guan, 20, have just finished shooting the Chinese drama series Sweet Combat, in which they play two students at a sports school who fall in love.

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Luhan’s post – “Hello everyone, let me introduce you to my new girlfriend @Guan Xiaotong” – had more than 4.8 million likes and 2.3 million comments.

Many users reacted with dismay at the news that their favourite actor and singer was off the singles market.

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“Why Guan Xiaotong? Any girl would have been fine, but not her,” one commenter wrote, attracting more than half a million likes.

Another popular commenter suggested the announcement was publicity for the upcoming television series.