Xu Xiaodong's Apology To Chen Xiaowang (2019 Social Credit Incident)
On April 29, 2019, Xu Xiaodong's social credit was lowered to the point where he couldn't ride high-speed trains, stay in luxury hotels, or even take out a credit card. It stemmed from an incident that started in 2017 involving Chen Tai Chi "grandmaster" Chen Xiaowang. You can watch the full interview on YouTube to see what Xu Xiaodong went through, but the result was that he had to apologize for a week on NetEase (one of China's biggest websites) and also pay a 260,000 RMB court and settlement fee. So this was what Xu Xiaodong wrote on NetEase for a week. To pay for this 24-hour, 7 day post online, Xu spent 160,000 RMB.
Let's translate his apology:
I, Xu Xiaodong, through my show "Brother Dong's Hot Takes" and other social media, disseminated some false information regarding Tai Chi Chen Xiaowang's Hunan Broadcast demonstration being fake. And I used slanderous language online to negatively affect Chen Xiaowang's reputation. I am writing here to apologize to Sensei Chen Xiaowang for my above-mentioned behavior.
Let's learn some Chinese through this:
本 běn - This word usually is a unit word. For example 一本书 (yì běn shū, a book). The 本 is the unit word. However, in some cases, you can uses it to refer to yourself in a formal context. 本人 means the person here (aka myself). If you remember that video with the Wing Chun guy who said he could KO Mike Tyson in three moves, that guy said, "本大侠." Aka "This pugilist right here."
散步 vs 散布 - sàn bù
Although these two words sound the same, they're very different. First word means go for a leisurely walk. Second word means spread or disseminate. So in this apology, Xu Xiaodong wrote that he spread information that Chen Xiaowang's push hands with Long Wu was fake.
名誉 - míng yù (Reputation or fame)
This was the crux of why the courts ruled in favor of Chen. The courts thought that Xu calling Chen a "dog" was damaging to Chen's reputation.
赔礼道歉 péi lǐ dào qiàn (Apologize, Literally: Give gifts owed and apologize)
You can use 赔礼 or 道歉 separately. But in many cases in Chinese, when you combine two similar meaning words together, you emphasize the action or the intention. So this was Xu Xiaodong indicating how sorry he was for causing all of the above-mentioned issues.
More details and more vocabulary and grammar to come! Xu's credit score is no longer low, for those of you wondering what the conclusion was. After his apology and paying the fees, his credit score came back to normal in 2019.
- Jerry Liu