Netizen Arrested in Shenzhen For Rumor That AIDS Patients Can Donate Blood

By Jonathan Zhong, October 8, 2018

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On October 4, a Weibo user triggered mass online panic after suggesting that AIDS patients can donate blood in Shenzhen. Later the same day, the Shenzhen Blood Center confirmed the statement was inaccurate. 

The netizen, who operated online under the handle ‘紫ZIYI,’ claimed she had donated blood a few times and that blood donation stations in Shenzhen do not run blood tests before taking donors’ blood. 紫ZIYI also asserted that the lack of blood tests in Shenzhen blood donation clinics has caused many patients to contract AIDS.

The individual behind the post was arrested on October 5. 

weibo-user-says-aids-patient-can-donate-blood.png

Screengrab via souhu.com

The unsubstantiated comment triggered concern online, and, shortly after the post was published, the official Weibo account of Shenzhen Blood Center confirmed the statement to be a rumor and made clear that all blood donors, regardless of whether they are first-time donors or repeat donors, are required to take a blood test before donating. According to the post, tests are performed either by the finger-prick method or via venipuncture.

According to an announcement posted on Weibo by the Shenzhen Network Police, the Weibo user, surnamed Jiang, was arrested by the Longgang Police Station on October 5 and was put under a seven-day administrative detention. Her Weibo account has also been shut down, according to CGTN

The controversy all stemmed from a promotional video posted on September 30 encouraging blood donation, which Jiang subsequently reposted. The video starred Wang Kai, a singer and actor, as the ‘ambassador of Life and Medical Health.’ 

wang-kai-in-aids-promo-video.png
Screengrab via BTV/Weibo

Wang was highly praised by netizens and media for promoting blood donation. Sadly, the video failed to appeal to a fan account of Jin Dong (another Chinese singer and actor) with 90,000 followers. The fan account reposted the video with a comment saying: “It's certainly no picnic for you to prove you don’t have XX.”

Although the account did not specify what ‘XX’ referred to exactly, many fans of Wang Kai have come to the conclusion that it meant AIDS.

The repost evoked outrage amongst fans of Wang Kai. In order to quell the rage, the account made a public announcement on October 1, saying that the worker involved in the offensive post was removed from their position and that they will 'seriously clean things up' to prevent similar incidents from happening again. 

[Cover image via Wikimedia]

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