There is currently a rumor making the rounds on Chinese social media that Taylor Swift is dating Chinese tech tycoon Charles Zhang, the founder of internet company Sohu.
It all started last week when Wu Xiao-ping, the owner of Chinese tech company Hangzhou Miyun, wrote a post in a forum on Toutiao, a Chinese news app, claiming that "America's number one pop star is dating a middle-aged Chinese tech tycoon."
The unsubstantiated post quickly went viral — being viewed more than 1.5 million times — and people went wild with their theories, which included Katy Perry...
Singers like Adele and Justin Bieber were quickly eliminated due to their nationalities.
People soon zoned in on Swift.
An unsourced screenshot that listed Swift as the second-highest ranked American pop star after Michael Jackson based on album sales was being widely shared as "evidence."
On the Chinese tech tycoon end, people overwhelmingly believed that Swift's new boyfriend was 52-year-old Zhang, who studied at MIT, sharing this screenshot of a group chat's reasoning.
People thought it was pretty believable.
Some were less convinced.
The next day, Zhang held a livestream where he addressed the reports, and – according to local outlet Bia News – said, "It's a rumor! I have no taste for foreign women," before adding that he didn't know who Taylor Swift was.
But during the same livestream, he also said, "Learn English so that you can not only rule the world but also get with American celebrities," which only added fuel to the fire.