It has almost been 9 months since Xiao Zhan’s (肖战) AO3 controversy. After months of smear campaigns and apologies, Xiao Zhan seemed to slowly make a comeback with CCTV performances, new endorsement videos, and filming a new series. However, Xiao Zhan’s manager was trending on November 16 when rumors were circulating that Xiao Zhan’s manager, Zhang Jing (张晶), was the mastermind behind the “Xia Zhui” (下坠) fanfic that was the catalyst for the AO3 scandal.
The conspiracy theory started out with some Xiao Zhan “fans” who were reportedly unhappy with Xiao Zhan’s staff members from his studio. So they started looking them up and one of the person’s information they found was Zhang Jing’s cell phone number. A fan was able to look up Zhang Jing’s number on Douban to find her account and discovered her name was Melody. They made the association that Zhang Jing was the author of “Xia Zhui” as the author’s name of the fanfic is “麦乐迪迪迪”, which would be pronounced as Melody-dy-dy or “mailedididi”, phonetically.
This netizen continues to say that Zhang Jing was the mastermind behind this scheme and purposely wrote or instructed others to write a fanfic that would defame Xiao Zhan. The studio’s staff members would contact his fans to report AO3. However, this netizen’s theory alleges that Zhang Jing and the studio didn’t think the situation would get out of hand and backfire, making Xiao Zhan the enemy of the entire Chinese internet community in an elaborate self directed and self performed scheme.
Xiao Zhan’s manager responded to the claims on November 16 in two posts. The first post read: “Too foolish, too senseless! I originally didn’t want to clarify such absurd remarks. However, some netizens have twisted and fabricated rumors. They even determined it was me or someone else who wrote “Xia Zhui” based on the text and even spread rumors that the studio had a part in directing and acting this out.
My last name is Zhang, single character, Jing. There might be hundreds of thousands of people who have the same name as me. English name is Melody, there might be over tens of thousands of people in Greater China with this name. From now on, call me Melody, Mailedi (麦乐迪), Didi, Mailede (麦乐地)…you guys are already changing my name. Only I, Zhang Jing, can use this name or else there is no way for me to cover this mess for you guys. Right now the total amount of reposts over the rumored content about me has already reached tens of thousands. It completely fulfills the criteria to file a case. I reserve the right to pursue legal action and reject spreading of rumors!”
Zhang Jing made another post clarifying her account on Douban, saying:
“Number one, the cell phone number that was human flesh searched (the original Weibo has been deleted) is mine. I’ve used that email before. The Douban account, which has been canceled for a few years is also mine. I am currently not a Douban user.
Number two, I’ve never registered for AO3, didn’t write stories, didn’t write ‘Xia Zhui’, didn’t instruct anyone to write ‘Xia Zhui’.
What is true is true. What’s false is false. What wasn’t done, wasn’t done.
Spreading rumors, fabricating facts, violating others’ privacies by human flesh, it’s shameless.”