Outspoken current affairs commentator Zhou Xiaoping, who gained national recognition for his scathing criticisms of former Google China chief Lee Kai-fu, has become a target of criticism himself.
The author of “Ten Questions for Lee Kai-fu”, a piece that appeared in Danjiang magazine last week, Zhou quickly became known on the Chinese internet for his aggressive critique of the former Google leader.
Zhou's article called into question Lee’s work experience, social media usage, political beliefs and claims of suffering from lymphoma.
Called “pure propaganda material for the party” by some mainland bloggers, "Ten Questions for Lee Kai-fu" nevertheless attracted widespread attention, ironically putting Zhou himself in the crosshairs of China’s Sina Weibo online community.
After carrying out a search of Zhou’s name and cross-referencing it with old websites, Weibo netizens discovered that a person with the same name had been a senior executive in 2009 of Fenbie.com, a Chinese media network that closed down in 2010 after its managers were found to be involved with the sharing and monetization of pornography sites.
On October 15, after being confronted with these discoveries and accused of hypocrisy for questioning Lee’s record, Zhou released a statement admitting that he had indeed managed Fenbie.com with colleagues, but denied any involvement with pornography sites.
“Eight years ago I was in Beijing working with a colleague for several months,” Zhou wrote on his microblog. “He left Beijing five years ago and then three years ago he was in Chongqing along with some others who were operating the website. They were the ones who were arrested – and the things that they did do not have anything in the slightest to do with me.”
Despite Zhou’s claims, many netizens continued questioning him, asking how he could now dare “adopt a defensive posture” when his own questionable background was being examined.
An editorial  by The Beijing News asserted that Zhou had used “groundless accusations” to attack Lee and asked “whether [Zhou] had ever imagined that he would now become the latest target of internet attacks himself.”
“Maybe this lesson will make him as well as many other people realise: Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself,” the editorial read.