This picture of an unimpressed Li Na accepting a giant reck check for 800,000 yuan in her home province of Hubei has gone viral on Chinese social media.
Li returned to her hometown, turning down an appearance on China’s big Spring Festival TV special, three days after being named champion at the Australian Open on Saturday. She was greeted by Hubei Communist Party chief Li Hongzhong, who presented her with this giant check worth $132,000 USD.
Netizens on Weibo were quick to call out the officials giving away tax money to the 31-year-old tennis star who is estimated to be worth around $40 million USD.
“Li Na’s expression says it all,” one Weibo user wrote. “This is the people’s money. Li Na plays tennis well. She’s a professional athlete who doesn’t need the public to give her anything.”
Li would probably agree, as she has a history of distancing herself from China’s sports program, and it didn’t go unnoticed when she failed to give any mention to the motherland in her (hilarious) victory speech at the Australian Open.
“Don’t say I’m doing this for my country’s glory. I do this for me,” she has said.
Previously on Shanghaiist: Photo of the Day: Li Na pops a bottle of bubbly at Melbourne beach
[Image via Weibo // via WSJ]