Sympathy pours out for top China blogger's cancer post
AFPBEIJING -- One of China's most popular microbloggers received a huge outpouring of sympathy Friday after announcing online that he has cancer.
September 7, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Kai-Fu Lee, a former head of Google China, has more than 51 million followers — more than the entire population of Spain — on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, and is ranked as its most influential user.
“Life is limited but the world moves on. At the end of the day, everybody is equal before cancer,” he said in his post late Thursday.
A Taiwanese-born American who now runs a capital venture fund in Beijing incubating technology start-ups, Lee is respected by China's young as an inspirational and gritty figure.
The posting immediately drew wide attention and was the most reposted entry Friday with more than 140,000 repetitions, most of them sympathetic and supportive.
Lee, 51, posted again Friday, thanking users and confirming he had been diagnosed with lymph cancer. “That does not sound very optimistic,” he added. “This is life.”
That comment quickly became the second most re-posted entry on Sina Weibo.
Lee is well-known for his outspokenness on China's social media and has come under government pressure as a result.
His efforts to raise public awareness have ranged from shaming stock short sellers who “slam innocent Chinese companies” to commenting on Taiwan's presidential vote “to give people a feel of what a democratic election would be like.”
In February, he announced that had been banned for three days from the weibo services provided by Sina and competitor Tencent, without specifying the reasons.
Without mentioning him by name, state broadcaster CCTV showed the homepage of his Sina Weibo account last month when it criticized bloggers with huge numbers of followers for “intensifying the spreading of rumors.”
Sina's health channel invited doctors from a tumor hospital in Beijing to answer questions online on lymph cancer Friday.
“Mister Kaifu, wish you get recovered at an early date. If the Chinese society still has positive energy and I can vote for only three representatives for it, you will definitely be one of them,” wrote one web user.
Han Han, a prominent writer and a well-known blogger, encouraged Lee to “keep moving on.”
“He has been trying hard to make the world better ... and he enabled more young people to have such an opportunity and power,” he wrote on his weibo account.
“Walking a long way you will inevitably encounter rain, but a nice person will finally live through to see the sun when the clouds clear away.”