Three Chinese celebrities have had their private information leaked online after they openly spoke against animal abuse.
What happened: The doxxing, an online term for leaking someone’s private information on the internet, began after Chinese actor Zhang Xinyu spoke out on Weibo on May 24 against animal abuse following a viral report of an influencer embroiled in an animal abuse controversy.
Zhang called for laws against such acts that would protect “poor cats and dogs, but also to protect young people’s mental health” in her post. Chinese actor Zhao Lusi and Chinese talk show host Jin Xing also called for an end to animal cruelty.
Illegally obtained information about the celebrities, such as their national ID details, phone numbers and birth dates, was reportedly leaked in the Telegram group chat for “Jie Ke La Tiao Fans.”
The topic started trending on Thursday, with other related topics garnering over 300 million views on Weibo.
Background information: Jie Ke La Tiao, whose real name is reportedly Xu Zhihui, has over 21,000 followers on Weibo and caused outrage online after filming cats being horrifically tortured for alleged monetary reasons.
He was detained in April after Chinese social media users reported him for spreading cat torture videos on QQ, a Chinese messaging app. Xu apologized on April 27 on Weibo, but he reportedly returned to his habits in early May.
China’s animal abuse laws: While China currently has regulations that solely protect livestock, laboratory animals and some wild species, there are no national laws against animal abuse. Some officials are pushing forward legislation that would help protect pets and stray animals from cruelty.
Beijing lawyer Yao Zhidou told China National Radio that the “abuse of your own pets or stray pets are not considered criminal offenses” in China, except if the animal is owned by another person, which “the action could be considered property damage, and you could be sued,” South China Morning Post reported.