A post about how a shit stain waste of space @ajawrites @bookshop attacked fans of Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan in an article she wrote for @vox, and then went on to slander and defame Zhang Zhehan in an attempt to get the only article published about his cancellation by CAPA retracted.
Here's the context: On June 6, 2022, @vox published an article written by @ajawrites @bookshop claiming that fans of Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan are "conspiracy theorists". In it, she makes all types of claims defaming myself and the entire JunZhe fandom (both here and in China) for being conspiracy theorists because we do not believe Zhang Zhehan's Instagram account is controlled by him. For those who don't know, Instagram fraud is rampant and there have been several Chinese celebrities who have been the victim of this. Zhang Zhehan's solo fans encouraged the reposting of this article and defended it because they somehow believe that Zhang Zhehan would "comeback" on an international platform before his name is cleared in China (another story for another day).
On June 14, 2022, less than one week after the publication of that article, The China Story published an article about why Zhang Zhehan was cancelled, and specifically that a non-governmental organization called the China Association of Performing Arts (CAPA) was behind the cancellation, not the Chinese government. It also described the efforts made by Li Xuezheng, a famous government-affiliated director, to clear his name. To my knowledge, this is the only story in the world to shine a light on CAPA's role in Zhang Zhehan's cancellation.
After this article was published, @ajawrites @bookshop wrote a long email to the China Story on June 18, 2022 seeking that the article be retracted. She claimed she had done "research" which showed that the article was part of a conspiracy theory (false), that Zhang Zhehan's family was linked to Japan (false), that Zhang Zhehan was cancelled by the government (false), that CAPA wasn't involved (false), and that all those who believe they are are "conspiracy theorists" (false). She repeats anti talking points to smear Zhang Zhehan in an attempt to obtain a retraction of the article.
Yes, @ajawrites @bookshop attempted to get the only article in the world that described CAPA in a negative light retracted.
We have a copy of the email. Here are some excerpts of her own words.
Here's @ajawrites @bookshop insinuating that Zhang Zhehan was banned by the government, when it has been proven on multiple occasions that the government did not ban Zhang Zhehan.
A writer who cannot even get this fact right does not deserve to be called a writer or a thinking human being.
Here's @ajawrites @bookshop claiming that Zhang Zhehan has family ties to Japan, which is FALSE.
Zhang Zhehan himself stated in his interview with Li Xuezheng on January 1, 2022 (seven months before this email) that this was not true. Yet, @ajawrites @bookshop continued to spread this smear to the editors of The China Story.
How does someone who is too lazy to confirm facts become a "culture writer" for @vox?
Here's @ajawrites @bookshop claiming that their "research" shows that the public genuinely hated Zhang Zhehan. They claim that Zhang Zhehan was not cancelled by bad actors, but rather by the "public".
They ignore all the proof and statements that what happened was due to malicious competition and monopoly. All of this was readily available, had @ajawrites @bookshop actually done diligent research. Li Xuezheng had, after all, talked about it for weeks at the end of 2021 and early 2022.
But of course @ajawrites @bookshop knows better! They know better than even Chinese people! They even know that CAPA is a government organization, when CAPA itself said that it is not government and does not represent government.
Pretty rich for white journalist @ajawrites @bookshop to claim that when Li Xuezheng, a renowned government affiliated film director, says that Zhang Zhehan's cancellation was not done by the Chinese government but instead by CAPA, he is spouting a "conspiracy theory".
@vox is this the type of sinophobic journalists that your publication now employs?
Here's @ajawrites @bookshop defending CAPA by stating that it is not to blame for Zhang Zhehan's censorship from all media platforms in China.
Except they failed to read the multiple media reports indicating that CAPA had allied itself with multiple media platforms to ban those it deems "immoral". These media resources includes a western outlet, Reuters. Basic due diligence would have unearthed this, but it appears neither @ajawrites @bookshop or @vox care about the facts.
Here's @ajawrites @bookshop suggesting (as a white foreign writer with zero access to his case), that it is "unlikely" that Zhang Zhehan's investigation would go anywhere, that he can't come back, that he is "already back".
These are clear anti talking points easily found on Chinese social media.
Of particular note is that @ajawrites @bookshop claims that these conclusions are a result of their "research". Yes in their own words, in 2020 they were just learning Chinese. With their level of genius, I bet they're not far from being a beginner.
Yet, this is the type of "expert" that @vox employs to write about Chinese fan culture.
The article in China Story is one of the only published articles in the world that details how Zhang Zhehan was cancelled by CAPA, not the Chinese government. Yet @ajawrites @bookshop, great friend to Zhang Zhehan solo fans asked for a retraction.
Yes, we have the email. They actually did.
Who has incentive to take down an article that speaks negatively about CAPA? Who has incentive to water down statements negative to CAPA? Who has incentive to perpetuate smears against Zhang Zhehan internationally?
Who better to manipulate than a lazy and dumb writer like @ajawrites @bookshop
I do wonder how @vox and its advertisers feels about @ajawrites @bookshop spreading slander about a Chinese celebrity and his fandom? I wonder if @vox even bothers with basic fact-checking? I wonder if @vox is okay with one of its writers contacting another publication in an attempt to supports their biased views?
To the Zhang Zhehan fans (Zhang Sanjian believers) who have fawned at the feet of @ajawrites @bookshop: good to know that you support those who defend CAPA, the organization that cancelled Zhang Zhehan.
And one last thing to @ajawrites @bookshop: only a shit stain waste of space would write an article about a celebrity to gain a following in his fandom while actually despising him, believing the smears against him, and thinking he's a t******.
Hello all you wonderful figthusiasts! Today is the day that I hit 600 fan figs on my spreadsheet total (not all in hand, the vast majority are in some stage of production or transport), and I wanted to take a minute to stop and celebrate what is, by all accounts, an incredible number.
This is less about me (and my perhaps fiscally-questionable use of disposable cash) and more about the fact that more than 600 individual figures of Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan were produced and made solely by fans. That this many actually exist in the world. What this is about, above all other things, is about love, and resilience, and the awe-inspiring, unstoppable combination of both.
I don't normally talk about the current situation with Zhang Zhehan and Chinese entertainment, because this blog is meant to be a little island of happiness and fun for us that love this show, love these two actors, and love seeing cute renditions of them. But 600...well, 600 feels powerful. It feels like something worth talking about.
This fandom has had half of our vibrant, beautiful soul ripped from us in the nastiest, cruelest, most contemptible way possible. This is greed and evil in the most overt form I've seen in the world, and it was horrifying to watch it unfold that August.
As overseas fans, we at least can still see Zhang Zhehan's past works, post videos and photos of him, and freely say his name as much as we want. The Chinese fandom cannot. Zhang Zhehan has been so comprehensively erased from Chinese media that he cannot even use his own name. The fandom can't even search for his name online, his pictures and videos have been removed, and any of the shows or movies that feature him that remains still available has him (literally) scrubbed from the screen.
This is what I see when I search for Zhang Zhehan on Taobao, Weidian, and Xianyu:
The Chinese fans have taken matters into their own hands, and stood up and fought back and refused to forget him. The fig makers, the doll makers, the merch makers - all of these incredibly brave, loyal, and loving fans have gone out there and dedicated thousands and thousands of hours of their own time and their own money to keeping his memory fresh, his work front and center, and his light constantly burning.
They took him from the fans, but they can't make the fans let him go.
Luckily, the fandom still has the other half of it's soul, and continues to celebrate Gong Jun and his accomplishments, and his own fiercely loyal and great heart, and celebrates the love and affection and care these two souls have for each other. Zhehan promised Junjun forever on May 5th, 2021, and the fandom honors and helps keep his promise.
Think about it. Six-hundred-plus fan-created figurines of the two of them. I don't even own all the fan figs - there's absolutely more than this, I'd estimate closer to 700.
There's Wenzhou figs, of course, but random side character in a long ago TV show? Check. Main characters? Check. Appearance(s) on a variety show? Check. Ad campaigns? (Lots of) magazine shoots? Check check. Casual airport outfit? Workout pose? Douyin moment? any number of Weibo posts? Livestream? not just one, not just two, not just three, renditions of childhood photos? Check check check.
And the figs are still coming. I have a whole list of figs in sketch form sitting in my Weidian cart, waiting to be opened for deposits. One after another, fig makers dipping deep into their precious hoards of recorded shows and magazines and photos and videos of Zhehan, designing one fig after another. Every time Junjun wears some fancy new designer outfit, fans are hard at work pairing that look with a complementary one from Zhehan's archive, determined to keep these two front and center in a country where they can't even type Zhehan's name into a search engine without it being censored.
My respect for the Chinese fandom and the fan creators is immense. They have souls of steel. Every time I hold one of these figs in my hand, and marvel at the cleverness and creativity and all the fine little details, I feel the strength of that connection to them, that iron determination, the fierce will to persevere, that pride and joy, and the love that can't be stopped. 坚强 indeed.
Yeah, 600+ figs is a trauma response, no question. For the fan makers and the fan buyers. But it's a response, all right. Today I have 600 and more tiny (giant) shouts of, you can't stop us, we're going to keep loving and celebrating and remembering him no matter what happens.
It's incredible. I don't know why 600 is the number that really hits me - I had thought it would be 500, but I blew past 500 without blinking in a frenzy of late night and early morning fig drops, and then it was Gong Jun's birthday, and a tidal wave of love and figs, and now here I am. I was at 598 yesterday and already today I'm at 612. I'll be at 700 before I know it, with a lot of remainders starting to be released and the Spring Festival coming up.
I have less than 200 fan figs actually at home, and it's ... a lot. My husband asked me a while back, staring at my display shelves, so, what's the end game here? and I just looked at him, and said, I don't know.
I really don't. I have to believe this is totally unprecedented, but then again, what happened to him is totally unprecedented. The only thing I know that if the fans keep making them, I'm going to keep supporting them.
So here's to resistance, and resilience, and love. Here's to the fans staying strong, and here's to Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan. It's going to be a glorious sunrise on the mountaintop when it comes.
As a way to cap off the year, I thought it would be nice to go over all the LLD candy from 2022! There were a ton of little ones (read: kadians, matching clothing, possible hickies, sunset photos, etc.), so this will just be focusing on the larger notable ones. They’re all dated and in chronological order, because I’m me.
Remember to take these with a grain of salt. Enjoy~
January 23rd → Gong Jun’s studio Weibo posted his 2021 year in review video, completely leaving out August despite him having had two livestreams, a song release, and a reality show air during that month.
January 29th → Gong Jun posted a commercial for KFC to his Douyin where he rips dates off a calender that has 1 and 5 missing. (No one talks about this one but it’s one of my favourites. 🥺💕)
February 14th → Gong Jun posted a commercial to his Weibo at 11:29, then posted two photos of himself to Weibo at 13:14 (kadian for “forever”), then posted the same to his Instagram at 13:15, using the kadians to make the sequence “Gong Jun forever Zhang Zhehan”. The photos had been taken at Xiao Yu Hill in Qingdao at almost the exact location that Zhehan had taken photos at in 2018.
His Weibo post had the caption “Happy Valentine’s Day [11 husky emojis]”, the same caption he had used in 2021. Some people noted that “Zhang Zhehan” is eleven letters long, and interpreted the use of the same caption as a way of saying that nothing has changed.
March 5 → Gong Jun posted a vlog with Nancy Mulligan by Ed Sheeran as one of the BGM, a song about a couple eloping during the Northern Ireland conflict. Fans found that one of the top comments on the song on Netease is “When China allows homosexuals to get married, I will play this song at our wedding,” and the song has widely been adopted by the gay community for its message of marrying and growing old together despite societal rules.
April 26th → (Purely rumor, take with a full spoon of salt.) Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan were supposedly seen together at the entrance to the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Beijing. Reportedly they saw someone take photos and Zhehan stepped forward to pay the person off, only for Gong Jun to stop him and say to the photographer, “Do whatever you want.” The following day was Zhehan’s lunar birthday.
May 6th → (Instagram cw) Guo Yunfei, the casting director and actor of Duan Pengju from Word of Honor, posted a photo of himself making the LLD handsign with the caption, “I hope the ‘waves’ (浪花, langhua) like it. I know what happened recently, but what can I say or do? … I hope everyone can be sincere and kind, have a safe future, and live up to your friendship.” This was the day after the Instagram was deactivated.
May 11th → Zhehan’s birthday. The post count on Gong Jun’s Weibo went up by two despite nothing new appearing, indicating that he had posted privately.
May 17th → (Again, purely rumor.) Gong Jun and Zhang Zhehan were supposedly seen together near Liangma Bridge in Beijing’s Chaoyang district. According to this one, Gong Jun asked the fans who photographed them to delete the photos and they willingly complied.
May 20th → Kangshifu released a mini-movie for 520 starring Gong Jun and an actress who looked strikingly like Zhang Zhehan, including a scene where she wore an outfit almost identical to one Zhehan wore during his 2021 birthday concert. The film included drawn illustrations of the two lead characters, one of which was found to have been directly traced from a photo of Zhehan from the Word of Honor concert. One of the lines included on the teasers leading up to the release was “I didn’t hide you away properly. It’s apparent in every drawing of mine.”
May 23rd → Gong Jun posted photos from a photoshoot for L’Officiel magazine to his Weibo—completely innocuous until people discovered that the caption, “✈✈✈～ ”, auto-translated to “对对～ 我爱你～ (Yes yes~ I love you~)” in the international app. This was later confirmed to have been an intentional Easter egg. Interpret it as you will~
June 9th → Gong Jun posted cooking photos from when he had been visiting his family during the previous month. It was noticed that there was one more set of chopsticks than there should have been if it was only his family. As well, it can be seen that Gong Jun was cooking the cilantro separately from the rest of the dish—Zhehan is known to not like cilantro. June 9th is May 11th on the lunar calendar.
(There were so many little things throughout May and June, you could tell Gong Jun was giving Xie and co. the middle finger. A thread I made of all the ones I’m aware of can be found [here].)
August 1st → (slight knives in this one) BEAST posted an article to their WeChat about their Qixi product line, in which they included the lines “Remembering that we couldn’t spend the previous Qixi together as we were at different places I even secretly childishly cried, and was angry at him. He promised that he’ll give me a surprise next Qixi.” and “Love is separated by the mountains and seas / The mountains and seas can be flattened”. The latter was written on a banner Zhehan had recieved from a fan during the Word of Honor concert; Qixi 2021 was August 14th.
September 5th → VogueFilm released an interview Gong Jun had done with them where he talked about his morning routine, wherein he said, “If you have a problem with your knees, don’t do running, cycling, etc. Even though they seem easy, if you don’t master the technique well, it will actually affect your knees” Photos of his food included a jianbing, which a few weeks earlier he had said his “ahyi” made for him, as well as eggs prepared in a way unique to Jiangxi.
October 14th to 20th → Gong Jun stopped having an umbrella shield him from photographers while going to work and took full advantage of it by wearing clothing associated with Zhehan for the next several days. Details can be found in my post for that week, look for the 🍬 emojis.
November 2nd → During a livestream for Hsu Fu Chi, Gong Jun mentioned multiple of his other endorsements and at one point walked off set to grab his LockNLock thermos, which he then drank from on camera for exactly five seconds while the host was made to wait. On the same day, his studio posted a douyin with the song 隆里电丝 by 盛宇DamnShine, which includes the lines “Some people will become your friends / or your zhiji / Some people will fight with you to the end / as long as you're happy (开心就好)”
November 17th → A photo from 2021 that Gong Jun’s studio posted as part of his time train series included a blurred out red and blue smear that was possibly a photo from the Word of Honor concert being used as his phone’s wallpaper.
November 28th → Gong Jun posted a photo of a handwritten note saying that he wouldn’t be doing a birthday livestream the following day. Something that was possibly his hexagon ring appears to have been deliberately placed behind a glass of water in the photo.
December 17th → Gong Jun posted travel photos from Yunnan, which included two photos of a figure from behind wearing a hoodie that completely covers his head. There is debate over whether this person was really Gong Jun, especially as the shoulders seem to match Zhang Zhehan’s stature.
What’s your own favourite candy from the year? If I didn’t include it here, please feel welcome to add it as a reply or reblog! 🍬🍬🍬