‘Bully’ woman influencer in China arrested after intimidation, claims she is immortal, cures ills, makes people rich

‘Bully’ woman influencer in China arrested after intimidation, claims she is immortal, cures ills, makes people rich

An influencer in China, notorious for insulting her followers during live broadcasts, has been arrested by police after she conned people out of money by convincing them she was “possessed by immortals” and could tell fortunes.

One victim, Jin, saw videos of the influencer, surnamed Guo, bragging about her bogus abilities, which included exorcising spirits and healing people.

She also displayed thank-you banners allegedly from grateful individuals she claimed to have helped.

Jin contacted Guo and asked her to cure his parents’ illnesses and also to boost his finances, and she agreed. She also arranged to visit his home to assess the feng shui, charging him 2,000 yuan (US$280) for her services.

When Jin’s parents’ health showed no signs of improvement, he realised he had fallen victim to a scam. Yet, the fear of Guo’s retaliation and her substantial online following deterred him from confronting her.

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Guo used lies, threats and intimidation to build up a sizeable army of followers. Photo: Baidu

“She likes to intimidate and insult others. If things go south, she might expose my family’s private matters or my business affairs. Her large following makes me cautious about making things worse,” Jin told reporters from state media CCTV.

In another incident, when someone exposed Guo’s fraudulent claims during her live broadcast, she retaliated by renaming her pet dog after the whistle-blower and inciting her followers to engage in verbal abuse. She also threatened to place a curse on him.

“If he dares to disobey me, I’ll curse him to bear and lose children repeatedly. He will feel the agony of a parent burying their child,” Guo viciously spouted during her live broadcast.

Her offensive behaviour drew an even bigger online audience, further intimidating victims seeking justice, and providing her with the opportunity to lure scores more people into paying for her dubious services. She amassed substantial wealth.

As her influence grew, Guo became even more audacious.

She devised a new tactic of provoking and cursing people on their doorsteps, featuring the entire process on her live-streaming channel to attract attention and increase traffic.

In September last year, after enduring Guo’s online verbal abuse, several victims reported her to the police.

The influencer has been charged with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”.

Investigators decided she had, in fact, provoked, slandered, and intimidated dozens of people during her live-streams, and she was detained by the People’s Procuratorate in Gaoping City, in the northern province of Shanxi.

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Guo’s online behaviour became so extreme that a number of those who followed her called in the police. Photo: Baidu

Her story sparked a barrage of criticism online, with many calling for both the platform and Guo to be held accountable.

“This is blatant cyberbullying,” one person said.

“It’s terrifying that such a person still has followers online and is capable of inciting people to commit verbal violence. How can such behaviour still attract gifts?” Said another.

“Strict measures should be taken without leniency. The public deserves a safe and clean online environment. The platform that allowed such cyberbullying to persist for so long should also be held accountable and punished,” said a third.

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