When the news spread last week that Fang Binxing, the man behind China’s Great Firewall, would step down as President of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT) due to “health issues”, netizens didn’t hold back in their celebratory schadenfreude.
Thousands of users played with the Chinese expression “wish you soon overcome the illness” and prayed in unison that the “illness would soon overcome President Fang.”
Liberal publications such as New Weekly and Caijing reported the news but referred to him only as the Honorary Chair of The National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China (read: father of the Great Firewall). Still, Weibo users were quick to identify the man. The hashtag with his name has generated almost 31,000 Weibo posts.
One wrote: “Before I did not believe in ghosts or gods. But now I do! All the curses netizens put on Fang Binxing actually worked.”