The mother of the late Ferrari driver Ma Chi (centre, in a white blouse and black skirt) is inconsolable as she arrives at the crash scene, in this image from Singapore media reports. Behind her is her daughter-in-law He Tingting, a former news anchor with Sichuan TV.
Rumours are now swirling on the Chinese interwebs that the dead 31-year-old Ferrari driver in the recent three-vehicle crash in Singapore is the son of State Councillor and Secretary-General of the State Council Ma Kai (马凯).
The rumours can be traced back to journalist Cao Guoxing, the Shanghai correspondent of the Chinese service of Radio France Internationale. Without naming names, Cao hinted on his Sina Weibo account yesterday that the late Ma Chi, who bought the limited-edition $1.43 million Ferrari as a birthday present for himself last year, is the son of the afore-mentioned councillor.
“I just found out that the man who went gallivanting in his Ferrari with a pretty girl behind the back of his pregnant wife (a former Sichuan TV news anchor), and ended up killing three people (including himself) is surnamed Ma, and his name is Ma Chi. How did he become Sichuanese?”
Attached to Cao’s post were pictures (see above) of Yuan Zhongxiu (袁忠秀), wife of State Councillor Ma Kai, which showed an uncanny resemblance to an image of Ma Chi’s mother as shown in Singapore media reports.
Unfortunately, Cao’s post was deleted by internet censors within 30 minutes.
According to his official biography on Xinhua, State Councillor Ma Kai, who has recently been keeping up a busy schedule meeting guests from the European Union, is from Shanghai, not Sichuan.
Skeptical netizens also point out that Ma Kai is supposed to only have one daughter and no son.
Reflecting the sensitivity of the matter, searches for Ma Kai’s Chinese name are now blocked on Sina Weibo.
In the meanwhile, Sina Weibo’s official rumour-busting service has remained silent on the matter.
The plot thickens…