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Why is Wang Baoqiang’s divorce such a big hit in China?

What can be worse for a public figure having an unfaithful wife, who has an extra affair with his own agent?! 

In the early morning of August 14, the Chinese famous film star Wang Baoqiang, nicknamed "Baobao" (baby) by his fans, took the showbiz by storm suddenly with his heartbreaking post on Weibo:  

"I, Wang Baoqiang, will now issue the following statement in regards to my divorce arrangement with my wife Ma Rong:

Since my marriage with Ma Rong in 2009, I have kept my marriage vows through sharing our love faithfully and with honesty. Throughout my life, I have strived to be a good husband, father and son by loving my wife, children (a son and a daughter) to the fullest, as well as respecting and caring for both of our parents. Therefore, I worked hard every day to provide a comfortable living environment for my families to live in.

No matter in life, career or social circles, I have been honest and responsible towards all three entities in relation with my marriage. I have devoted unswerving love towards my family, my friends and society. The words and actions which I have spoken and performed throughout this relationship are built upon trust, honesty and compassion. However, I cannot tolerate malicious acts which betray our marriage and destroy the family. 

Now, due to Ma Rong's improper extramarital sexual relations with my agent Song Zhe, which has severely hurt the marriage and destroyed the family, I have solemnly decided to divorce Ma Rong and dismiss Song Zhe. Throughout the legal process, I will do my best to reduce the harm to our parents and children, allowing them to continue their lives without disturbance.

Last of all, thank you to my families, friends, movie fans and the media and public for caring, helping and showing support for me. Therefore, I implore all of you to please give some privacy to my parents and children in light of the situation. Ultimately, I will continue to stay true to myself, to take care for my families, and to work hard!

Wang's statement gained him much sympathy and support from his fans, and condemnation of Ma. So far, posts with the hashtag #WangBaoQiangDivorce have attracted over 5 billion views in China, a country whose population is slightly over 1 billion! 

Later, Wang also accused his ex of transferring their joint assets, which include 9 apartments, company shares, investments, a BMW car, a Bentley car, savings, stocks, financial products, insurance and various luxury goods. The assets were estimated to be about 100 million yuan. Unexpectedly, Wang had to borrow some money as the legal cost when he officially filed for divorce in Beijing. 

A celebrity split should be quite normal in China, where the divorce rate is rising year by year. Why has Wang's divorce become such a hot topic anyway? 

Wang, 32, is regarded as a hardworking actor who rises to fame from a Hebei rural area with several successful films and TV shows. His road to fame is particularly inspirational for the young. 

Secondly, the divorce has proven the time-honored Chinese belief that a couple has to "match" in every aspect, from educational level, appearance, social status to economic power. 

The most interesting part is that, the differences between the couple and the divorce itself are quite similar to the sufferings of Wu Dalang, a poor dwarf of the Song Dynasty who had a beautiful but unfaithful wife Pan Jinlian. The agent Song Zhe is compared with Pan's adulterer Ximen Qing. The difference is that, Wu was eventually poisoned to death by his wife. 

In light of Wang's efforts for a just properties division, Chinese people began to discuss about the prenuptial agreement. Some believe that Wang's trouble has already taught them a lesson – a prenuptial agreement will protect one's assets when he/she has to divorce. It's very, very unfair to a rich man, who gets nothing but obligations after divorce, while his ex has the complete ownership of his assets effortlessly, just because of their marital relations. However, some argue that a prenuptial agreement will hurt the marital relations. 

The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer. 



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