/JD.com founder: Do not call my wife “Milk Tea Girl”!

JD.com founder: Do not call my wife “Milk Tea Girl”!

Last Friday, a WeChat post by JD.com founder Richard Liu went viral among the public. In that post, Liu wrote, “Do not use the term ‘Milk Tea Girl’ ever again, or else.”

“Milk Tea Girl” refers to Liu’s wife Zhang Zetian, a web celebrity who in 2009 became famous overnight when a photo of her holding a cup of milk tea went viral, spread by netizens who were impressed at her pretty face.

The WeChat post of Liu leaked, leading to some criticism from netizens, who questioned whether Liu used this as a form of advertising, taking advantage of his wife’s internet fame to publicize his ecommerce company ahead of the upcoming November 11 Singles’ Day online shopping extravaganza.

JD.com is China’s second biggest ecommerce company.

More than that, Liu has been vocally supporting Zhang’s business – a milk tea chain store which first opened last May.

However, what’s said in that post was a misunderstanding, explained Liu, “The warning is meant for my friends on WeChat, not for the public.”

With the explanation, netizens started to stand with Liu, some agreed that privacy should be respected.

For the shopping festival last year, Zhang posted on WeChat announcing her pregancy, saying: “I heard that buying RMB 499 of baby care products at JD.com on November 3 gives a discount of RMB 250. Gotta stock enough for my baby!”

Under that post, Liu replied, “Whatever others are saying, I just love my wife!”

If the two are in a high profile marriage, who made a rule against using internet fame to promote a business? They certainly would not be the first celebrities to do so.

(top photo from Baidu Images)

Ke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master's Degree in English and has worked on projects with Ipsos MORI and SDI Media. She's particularly intrigued by China's thriving technology scene and is eager to write about this flourishing industry.