A 23-year-old Chinese woman took to social media implying she will kill herself after using her real identity to report the alleged sexual misdeeds of the former chief economist at a state-run infrastructure company.
Claiming that she had been compelled to have two abortions due to her relationship with a high-ranking executive, a 23-year-old woman going by the online handle “wan 婉婉” (wan wan wan) declared on Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo that she had used her true name and identification to report the affair.
Writing her long tract on March 2, her post, which delves into the details and ethics of her involvement with the former chief economist, ends ominously, with the words “goodbye to this short, yet drawn-out life.”
In the post, she introduced herself as an orphan who was adopted after her birth parents abandoned her.
“I still remember clearly how, when I was seven or eight, I would think about all the wonderful things I could do when I grew up. I would always tell mama that when I was grown up I would buy a big house for her and my dad so that they wouldn’t have to work … the only thing I was overly greedy about was that I wished that I had really come from my mama’s belly, because that way the other kids wouldn’t point at me and say “she’s adopted!’,” wan 婉婉 wrote.
But when she grew up, wan 婉婉 got involved with Wang Xingli, the former chief economist at China Communications First Bureau, according to her post.
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Over time, the relationship quickly took a dark turn, as Wang became increasing possessive and emotionally manipulative, trying to isolate her and dominate her life, she said. “My life started to revolve around him; he was very good at making me happy, but slowly, he began to belittle me, filling me with self-doubt and self-denial. According to him, it was my greatest fortune to have met him, and for that I ought to be grateful and obedient.”
Wang also allegedly pressured wan 婉婉 into having two abortions so as to avoid taking responsibility when she got pregnant.
According to state-linked media outlets The Paper and the Henan Legal Daily, the woman had posted videos this January in which she came out with her real name and accused the executive of using his power to manipulate her for sex. She had claimed that Wang Xingli concealed his marital status, had accepted bribes, and abused his position to have improper sexual relationships with multiple other women.
China Communications First Bureau was founded in 1987 as a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, which is known for its work on infrastructure projects. The First Bureau has 6.7 billion yuan in registered capital, more than 90 branches, and employs 24,000 people. It is likely that the Wang Xingli whom wan 婉婉 accused was or is the head of the Fifth Engineering Co. of the First Bureau in Nanjing, eastern China.
According to official notices, Wang Xingli was recently scrutinized for suspected corruption, being dismissed from his post as chief economist on Dec. 31, 2021. He formally left the company on Jan. 10 and was subject to an investigation set up by the state-owned enterprise shortly thereafter.
Coaxed into abortion: ‘It’s just an embryo, not a life’
But wan 婉婉 said that the authorities had not really punished Wang, and that he managed to keep his position despite what was officially reported — checking his cell phone early this year, she found that Wang was still issuing official documents in the company’s name, as he had merely been let go on paper.
According to her account, the first time she got pregnant was in 2021. When she went to Wang with the news, he unexpectedly “told me to bear everything by myself,” before reassuring her that “terminating the first pregnancy will not affect your ability to get pregnant later.”
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wan 婉婉 was not entirely convinced.
“‘It’s just an embryo, not a life,’ he told me. He made this promise, he asked me to trust him on on this; since his work could change at any moment it would be hard for him to take care of me if my stomach got bigger. [He claimed] he would take responsibility in the future if I agreed to get rid of the kid,” wan 婉婉 said, adding that she got an audio recording of his words in case he tried to deceive and abandon her later on.
She said she decided to trust Wang because of his promise “never to let me go.” “I believed he would definitely be good to me. It was only three days after I took the abortion pills that I realized that his promise was nothing more than a low-grade trick. I had nightmares every day because of this.”
Her nightmares became reality soon thereafter. She had gotten pregnant by Wang a second time, but because too little time had passed since her abortion, she and Wang opted not to have the second child, either.
“He abandoned me on the day I had the second abortion,” wan 婉婉 wrote. “When they sent me to the hospital for emergency care, they called him to let him know the situation, but he just turned off his phone and set it aside.”
“When I came to I was hurting all over and there was tons of blood coming out from the waist down,” she said. “I called him, but all he said was that he couldn’t take care of me anymore.”
The operation was complicated and had many side effects, leading her to be hospitalized for a lengthy period. “There were all sorts of things wrong with my body, and on top of that the doctors said I was messed up because of the abortions.”
When wan 婉婉 alter confronted her lover about his betrayal, Wang berated her. “He said I deserved it and that my reaping what I sowed had nothing to do with him.”
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Yearning for death
wan 婉婉’s story, which fits the despised archetype of the “little third” — a usually immoral and vain young woman who latches onto a well-placed married man — elicited much derision from many Chinese social media users, while others tried to talk her out of ending her life.
After posting her “final will” on March 2, it went viral on Weibo, accumulating about 18,000 comments and 23,000 shares by the morning of March 4.
“You are full of ulterior motives, what you’re after is obvious. As a ‘little third,’ you had it coming. Your mind is full of money, how disgusting you are,” wan 婉婉 described one earlier comment as saying.
She retorted: “How can you just denigrate a complete stranger, it’s so easy for you to just hammer out a few lines, but how can you know what I experienced? I know what kind of damage I’ve suffered… I know I deserve it and I have nobody to blame but myself,” she said, adding “why do you assume that I’m exposing this man because I didn’t get enough money? Do you think 20-year-olds are just thinking about profit all day long?”
wan 婉婉’s post further described the depths of her despair: “To me, hurrying towards death is the ultimate release in this hopeless life of mine. … goodbye to this short yet drawn-out life. To those of of you misunderstood me, please show me a little compassion when I’m dead!”
At the time of writing, she has yet to reply to any of the comments.
It is uncertain what wan 婉婉’s fate is, but according to a Chinese outlet called “Upstream News,” two people familiar with the situation said that she had been discovered and rescued by community workers in Beijing’s Dongcheng district, but she was unconscious and had yet to recover.