Royal engagement excites Chinese netizens
Updated: 2010-12-03 14:21
By Eric Jou and Su Zhou (China Daily European Weekly)
Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton at St. James's Palace in London on Nov 16.[Photo/Agencies]
Online users offer well wishes to prince, fiancee as businesses cash in on interest
The Chinese blogosphere is abuzz with excitement over Prince William and his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton's engagement.
Chinese online users are lapping up the royal romance with online hits about the prince increasing 2000 percent after the announcement was made, web giant Baidu revealed.
Chinese netizens are particularly hopeful for a fairytale ending for the royal couple and wished them well.
"I hope this will be a true Cinderella story," Man Tingfang said.
"Prince William and Kate! I'm looking forward to a grand wedding," online user Cici 3868 posted on a forum. "His mother Diana would be very proud."
Word of the engagement also led to a series of Chinese businesses trying to cash in on the excitement.
Online jewelry companies, such as www.Jinhe99.com, are already capitalizing on the wave of interest by selling rings that resemble Middleton's very own ring with a ticket price 99,999 yuan (11,500 euros).
Middleton's ring is the same engagement ring that Princess Diana received in 1982.
"When we saw the announcement we realized that the ring closely resembled one of our own models except that Diana's ring had more carats," said Jiang Yunming, manager of the Shenzhen-based online store.
"Almost immediately, online fans noticed our ring, and there have been a lot of orders inquiring about its purchase or orders for custom-made rings that look liked Diana's.
"There was even one inquiry about making a ring more expensive than Diana's."
China Daily has published 11 articles that directly relate to the engagement.
The Chinese language Global Times international page editor Zhang Wen, said it was an interesting event and his publication had run four different royal articles since Nov 16.
Despite the amount of interest generated online and in newspapers there are still many ordinary Chinese who had not heard about it, or did not care enough.
Guo Zhihai, administrative secretary of Renmin University's School of Journalism and Communication, said that people will care because they have some kind of interest in the issue, but unless there is any particular connection to the average person, most will not.
"I heard about his engagement but I don't care," said Fei Yinyi, a graduate student in Shanghai.
"There are more important things going on."
"I didn't know about it," said a Beijing resident named Zhou. "Why should I care? I should be caring about the price of cabbages going up instead."
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