On March 16, paparazzi followed popular Chinese host, He Jiong (何炅), and spotted him linking arms and holding hands with a man on the streets of Shanghai. The paparazzi followed He Jiong coming out of an establishment after a gathering with friends ended around 3 in the morning. At one point, his male companion is seen touching He Jiong’s face to check for something.
Netizens started speculating the identity of the man holding hands with He Jiong. On March 17, rumors started circulating the man in the video is Fei Qiming (费启鸣), a Douyin celebrity turned actor. Because of this, Fei Qiming started trending on Weibo. Sina Entertainment reached out to Fei Qiming’s staff and they responded, “It’s not [him]. Don’t mess around. Fei-laoshi is tired to death from moving bricks everyday. Where does he have the time to gather for a meal?”
When the video and pictures first surfaced, most of the comments were widely supportive of He Jiong. They left comments saying, “Isn’t this very normal”, “Forcing someone to come out, get hit by lightning”, “Even if it’s true, you came out on someone’s behalf. Be careful of being hit by lightning.”, “If true, congratulations.”, “Respect other people’s sexuality.”