Xiao Zhan’s Lawyer Denies His Involvement with LOFTER Being Taken Down

Xiao Zhan's Lawyer Denies His Involvement in LOFTER Being Taken Down

Back in February, Xiao Zhan (肖战) and his fans were crucified when a portion of his fans reported a fanfic called “Xia Zhui” (下坠), that coupled him and his co-star, Wang Yibo. In addition to the fanfic, they had also reported American fanfic site, Archive of Our Own (AO3), LOFTER, and Bilibili to the official authorities for explicit content. On February 27, people affected by the reporting decided to retaliate against Xiao Zhan by boycotting his endorsements and work and became his anti-fans. This was the start of a smear campaign that was later known as the “227 incident“.

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The past

On February 29, AO3 access in China was officially blocked. There were reports of creative work taken down on LOFTER and Bilibili as well. Though some users said they were still able to access AO3 using VPN, it didn’t quell the anger of those affected. Many creative communities believed the shutdown of AO3 in China was a result of Xiao Zhan’s fans doing. Xiao Zhan issued an apology on March 1, but still received a lot of criticism and hate for not addressing the incident immediately.

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Xiao Zhan's Lawyer Denies His Involvement in LOFTER Being Taken Down

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The aftermath

During this time, Xiao Zhan remained a low profile and didn’t engage in much work activities despite the entertainment industry had already resumed operations. His updates were few and far between until he released an uplifting single called, “Made to Love” on April 25. By this time, it seemed like the hatred and attacks from his anti-fans had subsided a bit. However, on April 28, rumors were circulating he was invited by He Jiong to be a guest on the variety show, “Back To Field”. It was met with a lot of opposition and threats to boycott He Jiong if they proceed with it. Xiao Zhan denied the rumors and urged people to not hurt others.

On April 28, his studio refuted accusations Xiao Zhan had lied about making donations. They also issued a very bold statement against the person who started the rumors: “You must take responsibility for each word you say.”

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The journey to a new beginning

On May 6, an interview Xiao Zhan did with the Economic View was released. While he didn’t directly refer to the AO3 incident, he apologized to those who were impacted by it. He also explained the relationship with his fans is more of equals and didn’t agree with the word “managing” when it came to interacting with his fans. After the interview came out, the overall public response seemed positive. The director of “The Untamed”, Chan Kalam, had reposted the interview and praised Xiao Zhan. A few days after the interview, Xiao Zhan was doing charity work to help revive Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

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As Xiao Zhan was starting to gain back some favor from the public, he was in the news again when it was reported a few kindergarten/elementary school teachers had rallied their students to show support for Xiao Zhan. While this seemed innocent, it was still a sensitive period. Xiao Zhan’s public image was treading on eggshells. Once again, he issued a statement on May 10, telling fans to put their lives ahead of chasing celebrities. He told his fans he didn’t need them to rally support for him.

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On May 20, it was revealed Xiao Zhan was working with a law firm to start an official investigation on the illegal use of his name to spread information on the internet. This is a culmination of all the slanderous rumors against him over the past few months.

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It seemed Xiao Zhan was gearing up to start working again as he was spotted filming for variety show, “Youth Periplous 2” as a guest. His studio even uploaded a video of “a day in his life” on June 9.

Xiao Zhan’s Studio Issues Apology and Takes Blame for Not Guiding His Fans Well

How did Xiao Zhan get involved with LOFTER?

However, on June 12, his lawyer issued a statement denying Xiao Zhan nor his team were involved in LOFTER being taken down from app stores. She wrote: “Regarding Lofter’s (app) current situation, it has no connection with Mr. Xiao Zhan and his team. The people who are fabricating and spreading rumors, instigating and organizing personal attacks against Mr. Xiao Zhan, and engaged in behavior disrupting Mr. Xiao Zhan’s business activities are suspected to have committed a criminal offense. As I was appointed to be Mr. Xiao Zhan’s lawyer, we will collect all the relevant criminal evidence and cooperate with the police bureau to combat cyber criminal behavior and bring criminals to justice!”

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How did Xiao Zhan get dragged again? It was reported the LOFTER app was taken down from the Android app store on June 6 and removed from Apple’s app store on June 7. It’s not clear what the reason is, but netizens started accusing Xiao Zhan’s fans as the culprits. The accusations state they were using a software to track down erotic content on LOFTER in preparation to report it. In addition to that, they were accused of collectively leaving malicious comments and content on the popular tags on LOFTER and publicly incited people to flood the trending LOFTER tags. On June 6, it was reported there were links to erotic pictures under trending LOFTER tags. There is no concrete evidence and could very well be the doing of anti-fans.

Many netizens have been lamenting over the loss of LOFTER using the hashtag, “LOFTER taken down forever” on Weibo. Some people even suggested to remove Xiao Zhan and BJYX (fandom name for Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo CP fans) tags from LOFTER.

The app apparently still works on existing devices. It just won’t be available for download on new devices or work with new phone numbers. Even then, many considered it a big blow to the creative community. LOFTER issued a statement on June 12 stating: “Everyone, there’s no need to panic and no need to worry either. With you guys here, LOFTER will always continue operating! Didn’t you guys say it? We are backed by big factories with enough resources and support. We still have a lot of things to do! We will also speed up the adjustments and upgrades. We believe it’ll be very soon until we are listed again to welcome new and old friends alike!”

In an internal note to LOFTER users, they confirmed the company ran into some issues, but assured current users wouldn’t be impacted. They urged them to continue using the app normally. LOFTER also said they would be undergoing an internal investigation on the content to ensure the LOFTER community could continue safely developing.

Credit: Weibo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), Sohu (1)

11 thoughts on “Xiao Zhan’s Lawyer Denies His Involvement with LOFTER Being Taken Down

  1. I feel so bad for him. Fans/Antis are really getting out of control these days, from death threats to smear campaigns And cyber bullying. it’s nuts.

    Maybe some solo XZ fans would’ve reported the sites but most likely CCP would’ve already had the plans to ban these sites to begin with and just needed the timing and reason.

    More and more now we hear of public figures committing suicide over cyber bullying this type of behaviour is not ok, and saying that it “comes with the job” is just bs. No one thinks it’s ok to abuse retail workers because it “comes with the job” so there’s no reason to use such a bs excuse to hide their own bad behaviour.

  2. Well the real problem indeed is his thoughtless fans requesting ban on that AO3. Some people make a living out of it and now that it’s gone, the damage has been done to them. Desperate people under the pressure of having their rice bowl taken, target him because they don’t know who else to blame. Quite a tragedy of modern tech and social network nowadays. Always have stupid people doing something and as a result, it has bullwhip effect to those innocent ones, both writers from AO3 and XZ.

    1. But the thing is, AO3 can still be accessed in China. You just need a VPN now. So there’s really no point in these people getting angry at him. AO3 is just like twitter and Facebook.

  3. I want to know why Lofter can’t simply deny that their problems are in NO WAY related to Xiao Zhan.

  4. It’s obvious by now that this has been a planned smear campaign against Sean Xiao, his contacts (sold to diff co by his original management ) are so fragmented that he ended up with no real backings, but yet he became so famous after “The Untamed” with all the endorsements, this attracted the attentions of the competitors, he became an easy target.
    Let’s face it, they blamed him for not managing his fan’s behaviors, thus he has to take the blame!!! So for almost four months of relentless cyberbullying to him, his family, his fans, are not enough. One of the most famous actor in China has no work for months!!! The ultimate goal has been to destroy his reputation and have no one willing to hire him again, because the antis boycott and threaten every co or person that even tried to work with Sean Xiao.

    1. These ppl need to need a life and be held accountable for their actions this is getting out of hand and these ppl should not be allowed to get away with hurting GG’s reputation or making raise accusations it’s stupid ..

    2. He is not responsible for the actions of his fans, nor is it his job to “manage” them. If they say they’re old enough to be on the internet, then they should very well should act like it. They are responsible for themselves just like XZ, despite being harassed by antis and his own fans, is still staying strong and acting like the grown a** man that he is.

  5. Hay its not really easy when you are that big star!just do your part as a fan to be there to your idol..support him so that he’ll encourage more to do his best in everything he will do.every thing xiao zhan did is for himself getting better in his field and it takes a lot of dedication in order for us fans had a glimpse of him may in the series, variety shows etc..he is really talented and a versatile actor!if u really like him or idolize him just show your love by respecting him not just an actor but as a human being that has a feelings and also get hurt!

    1. I know I’m an American and don’t know much about the going ons of the Chinese entertainment/fan club business, however im still trying to understand how an actor supposed to take responsibility on “fans” that did something wrong, if in fact they did something wrong. This man has gone through so much pain for something he has no control over and to let a group of people, the so called “anti fans” to have so much control over someone’s career that they have worked so hard for is unbelievably immoral and unjust. I hope that the Chinese industry will recognize this young man’s resilience and hopefully realize that it’s not just Asians that watches and support all these actors and actress, we of the international viewers also love and support the hardworking entertainment stars, and hope that they will stand behind him, and start working with him. Sean Xiao stand fast and keep your head up. You have nothing to apologize for, you are wonderful and may you keep moving forward.

      1. That’s really impossible to understand, why you guys who have nothing to do in life, but to destroy others, can you please think first before you blame and attack innocent person? Why Xiao Zhan has to take the blame all the time? When the real problem is in you. Your jealous of him that’s all, that’s why you want to put him down. Xiao Zhan may God bless you each day with strength and courage to face it’s trial that comes your way with humility and trust in God. Somehow everything will come to an end, in God’s time and grace.
        From Philippines with prayer: Be strong Xiao!

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