Jackie Chan, the much-loved movie star famous for his smile. (Photo/Ming Pao)
Sina Weibo users have named their worst people of 2012, with disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai and Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan both high on the list, reports Hong Kong's Apple Daily.
The rankings have been accumulating votes on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, since last July. One hundred finalists were selected from over 1,000 candidates put forward by netizens for their despicable, shameless or vulgar character and deeds.
Bo, who last year was at the center of the biggest scandal to hit Chinese politics in twenty years, topped the rankings for his shameless self-defense at the annual meeting of the National People's Conference last March, where his defiant cry that he and his family were being smeared with accusations of corruption contributed to him being sacked a few days later. While many of the accusations leveled online about Bo and his wife Gu Kailai were indeed outlandish, enough of them were true for Gu to be given a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, while Bo has been kicked out of the party and awaits trial for his abuses of power as party chief of Chongqing.
Fang Zhouzi, a biochemist well known for his campaigns exposing pseudoscience and fraud, in particular his claim that popular author Han Han does not write his own books, follows Bo, as netizens judge his campaigns — which have revealed some genuine cases of misconduct — are largely self-aggrandizing.
Jackie Chan makes 14th on the list, having gone from fighting the system in his films to being the real-life system's most enthusiastic supporter as he moves into middle age. Chan has made himself unpopular by criticizing Hong Kong as a "city of protest" in a recent interview with Guangzhou's Southern People Weekly, coupled with previous statements to the effect that Chinese people cannot handle freedom and need to be controlled.
Perhaps less well known outside China are Fang Binxing, ranked 7th, the president of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications who is the chief architect of the country's internet censorship technology, and Yu Qiuyu, ranked 21st, who made a fake donation to victims of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and showed disrespect to those who died in the disaster.
For his public assertion that people from Hong Kong are bastards and dogs, Peking University professor Kong Qingdong showed himself to lack the wisdom and tact of his illustrious ancestor Confucius, also earning himself a spot in the top ten of people with the least admirable character. Scholar Zhang Heci meanwhile is deemed a spineless suck-up for being a prominent defender of the party which purged his liberal intellectual grandfather Zhang Dongsun in the 1950s and finally succeeded in hounding him to death in the Cultural Revolution a decade later.
Diplomat Sha Zukang, a former secretary general of the UN Economic and Social Affairs Department, is ranked 8th for his remarks that human rights in China are five times better than in the United States.
Just scraping in to the worst of the worst is Xu Jing, a contestant on If You Are the One, who went on the TV dating show to find her ideal spouse, neglecting to reveal that she was already married.
Bo Xilai 薄熙來
Jackie Chan 成龍
Fang Zhouzi 方舟子
Yu Qiuyu 余秋雨
Fang Binxing 方濱興
Kong Qingdong 孔慶東
Zhang Heci 張鶴慈
Zhang Dongsun 張東蓀
Sha Zukang 沙祖康
Xu Jing 徐晶