A well-known musician has apparently saved his father-in-law's home from being forcibly demolished after he started posting accounts of the pending action on his Sina Weibo account that has over 710,000 followers.
Local authorities in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, now say they will not demolish the house until a compensation agreement is signed.
The response came after Zuoxiaozhuzhou, the musician, and his wife, Bian Xiaoli, posted several entries on their Weibo on October 23 writing that their home was about to be forcibly demolished. The house is owned by the musician's father-in-law Bian Shifang.
The posts by Zuoxiaozuzhou had been reposted almost 37,000 times by late Monday. Many Web users responded online with angry, pointed comments aimed at local officials, while some said the singer used fame to get his way.
The district wants the land for the construction of a subway train rail yard and maintenance station. Local officials told Xinhua that if construction is slowed because an agreement with the family cannot be reached, they will build around Bian's house.
Some netizens said Zuoxiaozuzhou is much luckier than ordinary people who do not have hundreds of thousands of followers to turn to for backup.
A resident in Changzhou said using social media is the only recourse many people have and the musician used it to protect his family.
"If the government communicated with the public before making big decisions, the people wouldn't need to voice their anger online," Wang Xiaoyu, a professor at Tongji University, told the Global Times.
The city government of Changzhou and the bureau of land and resources refused to comment on the issue when contacted by the Global Times Monday.