By Tom Bannister
Shock! Horror! Weibo users are not all foaming-at-the-mouth nationalist bigots! Following the defeat of Chinese tennis player Li Na by Victoria Azarenka, a few abusive posts on the Belarussian’s Weibo page were drowned out by thousands of messages of congratulations.
The Chinese no.1 and world no.6 tennis player lost out yesterday in the final of the Australian Open. Li is one of China’s most successful sportspeople. Her French Open victory in 2011, the first time that a Chinese player had won a tennis Grand Slam, was received with widespread adulation by the domestic media. Some would have predicted that her Weibo page would have become a magnet for rabid nationalists, often assumed by some foreign journalists to make up the majority of Weibo users. Far from it.
Azarenka herself is a Weibo user and, at the time of writing, nearly 8000 comments had been posted onto her account. The vast majority of them congratulated the Eastern European on her victory. The few abusive, and hilariously nationalist comments were themselves roundly abused. Many Weibo users focused their attention on the abusive posts and encouraged their friends to send more messages of congratulations to obscure the negative comments. @陈锦培 scolded the nationalists, saying：”Why do some people have no suzhi (quality), what’s wrong with someone winning?“. @小梨儿小小梦 said：
“when someone wins we become sick, we can never be nice to people. No wonder our culture is going backwards, no wonder Hong Kong people look down upon us. We really are becoming more and more uncivilised. Your ugly thoughts and behaviour really make you lose face!“