Lara Zhang, a Chinese female bodybuilder based in Australia, became engaged in a social media feud with China’s internet police after she was accused of posting obscene video content online.
In the video, which was posted in Zhang’s Weibo account, the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Bikini competitor can be seen wearing a bikini typical of professional bodybuilders during competition.
Zhang then demonstrates several poses she performs in competitions, according to SupChina.
The clip was first posted in July 2018. But it wasn’t until recently that the official Weibo account of the internet police in Maoming, Guangdong Province managed to uncover the short video.
Subsequently, China’s internet police warned Zhang of the legal consequences for posting “obscene” content on the Chinese internet.
“According to the national security laws and cybersecurity regulations, it’s illegal to publish or spread obscene or pornographic information on the internet. Such behavior is subject to investigation by public security departments and will be punished in accordance with relevant laws,” the police said in the comments.
However, Zhang did not take down the post. Instead, she posted a comment in defense of her video.
“Please show me the results of your investigation and official documents when you are ready. I’ll fight for my rights and appeal,” she said on Weibo in Chinese. “The competition I attended was associated with the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness,” she added. “It baffles me why it’s so difficult to promote an athletic sport.”
“I don’t care about how average people see me because everyone views beauty differently. But how could a verified account of the police be so regressive and ignorant? I’m entitled to claim my rights,” Zhang continued in her other Weibo comment, which garnered over 4,000 likes.
Zhang, who attended Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, made her bikini competition debut in 2016 at the Australian Women’s Natural Body Sculpting (AWNBS).
She then entered another competition that same year and won second place at the official IFBB-sanctioned event.
After the encounter with China’s internet police, the authorities reportedly apologized to Zhang in private for the false accusations, according to Global Times as translated by SupChina.
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