Sina Finance publishes remarkably sexist, ageist commentary, angers everyone

Society & Culture

An article about Taiwanese supermodel Lín Zhìlíng 林志玲 and her recent marriage to Japanese pop star Akira, which was published online by Sina Finance on June 8, has been removed by the publication after it was widely panned for being grossly lowbrow, offensive, and sexist. Sina Finance, an online media outlet affiliated with Sina News, apologized and fired the editors involved in publishing the piece.

Titled “Why Lin Chi-ling’s marriage is a failed IPO,” the article (in Chinese) was published over the weekend, a few days after the the newlyweds made their marriage public knowledge last week. In an Instagram post shared on June 6, the 44-year-old Taiwanese actress and model gleefully announced, “With love and courage, I got married. I feel so lucky to have everyone’s love and support all along the way.” Following Lin’s statement, Japanese actor and singer Ryohei Kurosawa, whose stage name is Akira, captioned a photo of them on his Instagram, writing, “I felt strongly that I want her to be my partner in life as we see our true selves in each other.”

While the couple was showered with blessings from internet users, Sina Finance felt the need to publish a sexist commentary by an anonymous blogger who goes by Bùèr 不二. The piece begins with the author referring to Lin as a “startup” that “failed to accomplish an IPO when it had the highest market value.” The “core assets” that Lin has, according to the writer, are her “pretty face, slim body, and big breasts,” which “devalued in the market as she aged.” It goes on to say that Lin made a bad decision to “marry down” to Akira, who is less well-known than Lin and earns significantly less than her.

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Toward the end, the author said that Lin, who he believed entered marriage too late, should be a lesson to other women, who must realize that waiting too long to settle down is a huge risk because it gets harder to find love as one gets older.

“Based on what I’ve said above, it should be self-evident why there are so few perfect couples among talented men and beautiful women in the world,” he wrote. “That’s because they didn’t achieve IPO at their prime time and always believed that the next one would better.”

It was clearly in poor judgement for Sina Finance to publish the piece, but the publication made the situation worse by writing a even more offensive blurb for the article:

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That reads:

“Lin Chi-ling has married. The 44-year-old with the sugary voice who once made countless Asian men festishize her and horny for her has finally married. Setting aside the fact that her husband looks a bit creepy, in consideration of the remarkable imbalance between costs and benefits, Lin Chi-ling’s marriage is an absolute failure of an IPO.”

Internet users slammed the author and the publication. “1. Sexism, 2. Ageism, 3. Discrimination against unmarried women, 4. Prejudice based on people’s looks, 5. Objectifying women, 6. Vulgar language,” one Weibo user wrote (in Chinese). “It’s no easy feat for the editor behind this push notification to make so many mistakes in a paragraph of about 100 words.”

Following the criticism, Sina Finance issued a statement (in Chinese) on June 8, saying that it has deleted the article and fired two editors responsible for the piece. “We will profoundly reflect on our mistakes and avoid making similar situations happen again. We feel deeply sorry for this!” Sina Finance posted on Weibo.