Netizens have been agog at the online flame wars between Han Han (韩寒) and Fang Zhouzi (方舟子), real name Fang Shimin (方是民), since the Spring Festival.
Fang Zhouzi, known as a popular myth buster, once identified a former CEO, Tang Jun (唐俊), as holding a diploma from a fake university. He has also sometimes turned to left-wing organizations and people he thinks pander to western liberal notions. Just before Fang took on Han Han, he was trying to expose another internet cultural icon who is popular with the Chinese youth of today, Luo Yonghao (罗永浩) the founder of the popular blog forum Bullog (牛博), as faking his own merits.
Han Han, who authored classic teenage rebel novels such as Triple Door (三重门), is also a prolific blogger whose Sina blog has consistently been in the top three in the country. Recently, Fang Zhouzi has persistently accused him of not being writer for his own work －through a series of preposterous claims. For example, Fang said a 16 year old writer cannot possibly cite works by writers like Turgenev, thus proving that Han did not write the novels. Fang Zhouzi thinks that Han Han’s father, Han Renjun (韩仁均), is the author of these novels.
However, Han Han has recently attracted a lot of press for his side of the debate, and his supporters have rallied around him. Now Han Han says he is suing Fang for libel.
In a recent interview on Phoenix TV that was uploaded and went viral, Han Han explained the reason he has sued Fang is for the moral good of writers as a whole: if anyone wanted to discredit a writer in the future, they would see the example of Fang Zhouzi.
Han Han also brought up the ridiculousness of the accusations. His father, Han Renjun had posted onto his Sina microblog account letters Han Han write to him when was in high school. They were lists for book buying, proving that Han was a reader. Instead of taking this as evidence, Fang Zhouzi seized on the signatures of the letters: one letter was signed “from your son Han Han” whereas the other simply said “from your son Han.” Fang said it couldn’t have been written by Han Han as people keep their signature consistent!