China shuts online fan club for new first lady

China shuts online fan club for new first lady

An online fan club devoted to Peng Liyuan, the increasingly popular wife of new President Xi Jinping, was shut down by authorities, the South China Morning Post said.

"Sorry, the account you are visiting is abnormal and cannot be accessed temporarily," was the message that greeted people trying to reach the Guo Mu (mother of the nation) Fan Club on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.

The club was created by Wang Jian, 28, a student at Xiamen University, who described the censors' action as "undemocratic".

Wang's blog had about 5,600 followers at the time it was blocked.
Besides old photos of Peng, Wang posted videos of performances from her 30-year career as a folksinger, which she gave up when her husband became a prominent political figure.

Wang launched the fan club the same day President Xi and his wife began their first official foreign trip, a journey to Russia and several African nations that saw the head of state nearly overshadowed by the stylish first lady.

Weibo continues to allow several other blogs inspired by the first lady, including the Liyuan Fan Club, Xuexileyuan (Learn from Happy Yuan) and Xuexiaiyuan (Learn from Xi Love Yuan).