Netizens go wild for dress worn by official’s mistress

The extra-marital affair of a senior official has the Chinese internet abuzz, but for a surprising reason – netizens are trying to get their hands on his mistress’ dress.

On June 8, a video showing Hu Jiyong, executive director of Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Co Ltd (under PetroChina), holding hands with a young woman in Chengdu’s Taikoo Li shopping complex was shared widely on social media. Hu, who also serves as party secretary to the company, can be seen sporting a pink polo shirt matching his mistress’ summer dress.

Fashion-minded netizens took to social media to crowdsource information about the dress, which grabbed netizens’ attention for its flattering and feminine design. 800 additional units of the dress were reportedly sold as a direct result of the social media fanfare. Relevant hashtags appeared on the microblogging mecca Weibo, including the topic “sales of the same dress worn by the woman Hu Jiyong held hands with have shot up”, which clocked up a staggering 300 million views.

The dress also received a lot of buzz on Gen Z fashion bible Xiaohongshu. Multiple fashion bloggers who already own the dress and had shared images posing in it last year have seen their old posts suddenly amass thousands of likes and millions of views in one day.

Taikoo Li Chengdu, where Hu was photographed, responded by reminding visitors that commercial street photography is prohibited in the complex. This move caused its own wave of heated discussion online, with the accompanying Weibo topic also amassing well over 300 million views.

Netizens mocked the situation, with one commenter writing “Filming corrupt officials is much more interesting than filming celebrities!”. The person who captured the footage claims the pair did not object to being filmed.

Hu Jiyong was relieved of his position by PetroChina and the company’s official WeChat account has since closed.


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