SHANGHAI -- Chinese Internet users are raging against the anonymous author of
a blog they say insulted China with its purported accounts of a British
teacher's sexual exploits among Shanghai women.
However, a person responding to an e-mail to a contact address on the site
said the authors were a group of performance artists who had fabricated its
content as an investigation into online vigilante behavior.
"We did not anticipate quite the level of anger this would raise," said the
message, which said the authors behind the cyber name "Chinabounder" included a
British man, an Australian woman, two Chinese men and a Japanese woman.
The message said the blog had been closed out of concern for the safety of
the group's Chinese members and ordinary expatriates in Shanghai.
The English-language blog, called "Sex and Shanghai," was inaccessible
Thursday, but a cached page could be read through the Google search engine.
Along with mildly lurid accounts of dates with Chinese women, it contained
irreverent comments about Chinese society, and some on the controversy generated
by the blog.
Critics of the blog had demanded that "Chinabounder" be unmasked and kicked
out of China.
"Chase down the foreign scoundrel on the Internet," Zhang Jiehai, a professor
of psychology at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, wrote in an essay
posted on his own Chinese-language blog.
"We need to find this foreign filth and kick him out of China," Zhang wrote.
Numerous reader postings on Zhang's blog supported his call for a manhunt,
often in highly profane terms.
"This kind of garbage, chop his head off," wrote one who signed as
"sanipuga." "Pardon me, but I think these women are also garbage, national
scum," said another, signed "Jiehuo."