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A young man who has been dubbed the “most handsome man in China” has threatened to take legal action against his critics.
Dingzhen Zhenzhu is a Tibetan yak herder who rose to fame in China in November 2020 after a clip of him smiling went viral on the country’s version of TikTok – Douyin.
At the time he was 20 and dubbed as the most handsome man in China, but he soon found out that with online fame also comes negativity.
Lawyers for Zhenzhu say he has been inundated with belittling and vulgar social media comments and claim they have had a “serious impact” on him.
In a letter issued by his lawyers through his agent, they have asked people to stop using “insulting, terrifying, vulgar, or vilifying words”.
At the time the initial clip went viral, it showed Zhenzhu walking the fields and discussing what life is like on the grasslands.
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A Chinese government official even tweeted about him, writing: “ Tamdrin #DingZhen recently became a social media star after a photo of his bright, sunny and innocent smile had gone viral.”
Tamdrin #DingZhen recently became a social media star after a photo of his bright, sunny and innocent smile had gone viral.pic.twitter.com/IKd2kw8ixu — Hua Chunying \u534e\u6625\u83b9 (@Hua Chunying \u534e\u6625\u83b9)
Since the clip, the former yak herder has been able to get a job as a tourism ambassador in his province.
But not everyone has been kind, as debate broke out on Weibo – China’s version of Twitter – where some argued he was only popular because of his looks, while others said he isn’t that good looking.
One web celebrity singer allegedly wrote a song about him containing the lyrics: “Ten years of hard study is nothing compared with Ding Zhen’s smile.”
On the social media site Zhihu, one person allegedly wrote: “We don’t hate Ding Zhen, we hate this world that has distorted values. We’re angry because we’re insulted.”
More criticism came when a picture of Zhenzhu vaping was leaked online.
But in a statement alongside his lawyers, Zhenzhu has asked people not to “do anything evil, no matter how trivial you think it is”.
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