Han Han (born September 23, 1982) is a Chinese professional rally driver, best-selling author, singer, creator of Party, One (App magazine) and China’s most popular blogger. He has published five novels to date, and is represented by the Hong Kong-based Peony Literary Agency. He is also involved in music production. In May 2010, Han Han was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. In September 2010, British magazine New Statesman listed Han Han at 48th place in the list of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures 2010”. In June 2010, Han Han was interviewed by CNN as China’s rebel writer who has become the unofficial voice for his generation.
Han’s first novel, Triple Door (三重门), on life as a third-year junior school student in Shanghai, raised his prominence in China outside Shanghai. With over twenty million copies printed, this novel is China’s bestselling literary work in the last 20 years.
On 15 January 2012, the blogger, technology entrepreneur, and former Baidu employee Mai Tian alleged in a blog post that the majority of Han’s work was produced by a team of ghostwriters. Mai Tian claimed that Han Han’s early work, including Triple Door, was in fact produced by Han’s father, Han Renjun, a literature aficionado who was forced to leave university due to his condition of Hepatitis B. In addition, Mai Tian accused Han’s publisher Lu Jinbo of leading a ghostwriting team that produced and published most of Han’s work; Mai also questioned how Han was able to become a nationally acclaimed writer while maintaining fitness to participate in many high-level rally races. Han categorically denied the claims in a blog post dated 16 January 2012, and Mai Tian had since removed the post from his blog and formally apologized to Han on 18 January 2012.
On 16 January 2012, the Chinese scientific author and anti-fraud crusader Fang Zhouzi published a blog post, in which Fang concurred with Mai Tian and further raised questions on the plausibility of Han’s works. Despite Mai Tian’s retraction of his statements against Han, Fang continued to assert that Han’s work was produced by ghostwriters. Han again denied Fang’s claims and sued Fang for defamation on 29 January 2012. Besides Fang, Han also sued a man named Liu Mingze, who is said to have forwarded an article claiming that Han’s work was produced by a team of ghostwriters. However, Han withdrew his prosecution a few days after the prosecution was accepted by the Putuo courthouse of Shanghai. Later, in an interview with a reporter, Han admitted that the person named Liu Mingze was actually a friend of his. Han sued this person so that the prosecution can be accepted by the Putuo courthouse since Liu Mingze was living in the zone of Putuo.
Later Mai Tian came back to support Fang’s statements against Han.
On Nov 17, 2012, a blogger published his finding, searching through website archive, he discovered some of the articles allegedly written by Han were initially posted on Han’s father’s blog, these posts were removed later.
The Han-Bai controversy
On 2 March 2006, Chinese literary critic and bookseller Bai Ye (白烨) published a blog post entitled, Status and Future of the Post-80 Generation (”80后“现状与未来), a harsh criticism of the works of writers born in the 1980–1989 period. Han responded critically with his online article The “Literary Circle” Is Bullshit, Don’t Act F**king Pretentious (文坛是个屁 谁都别装逼). This exchange escalated into the “Han-Bai controversy”, with both sides arguing on issues such as the post-80 classification, whether the works of post-80s qualified as literature and whether post-80 writers should be considered real writers.
On 4 March 2006, Bai published an online article entitled My Declaration – a Reply to Han Han (我的声明 – 回应韩寒), stating that Han’s articles in this exchange had crossed the boundaries of literary debate into the realm of humiliation and personal attack. Subsequently, writer Lu Tianming (陆天明), his director son Lu Chuan (陆川), and musician Gao Xiaosong (高晓松), entered the debate, which became the focus of the online community for a time. Han debated with the above personalities on his blog. The debate finally concluded with Bai, Lu Tianming, Lu Chuan, and Gao shutting down their personal blogs.