Internet celebrity Guo Meimei sentenced 30 months in prison for selling poisonous food
Published: Oct 18, 2021 11:59 PM
Guo Meimei in 2013 File Photo: CFP

Guo Meimei in 2013 File Photo: CFP

Guo Meimei, a Chinese internet celebrity, was sentenced 30 months in prison on Monday for selling poisonous and harmful food. 

It is the second time that she has been taken in by Chinese law enforcement. 

A court in Shanghai on Monday sentenced Guo Meimei, named at birth as Guo Meiling, to two and a half years in prison and fined her 200,000 yuan ($31,080) for the crime of selling poisonous and harmful food products. Guo's accomplice, Wang Zouya, was sentenced to seven months in prison and fined 10,000 yuan ($1,555). 

Guo was among the 32 people arrested in March who were found guilty of producing or selling diet food products containing sibutramine, an appetite suppressant which is banned in China. 

The police said that Guo and Wang put sibutramine into diet candy and pills and sold them online in January and February. 

The public prosecuting authorities believe that this constituted the crime of selling poisonous and harmful food. According to China's Criminal Law, anyone who mixes harmful substances into food for sale, or sells such food knowingly, can be sentenced to up to five years in prison. If the food caused an accident or other damages, the sentence could add up to five to 10 years in prison. 

Guo, aged 30,was one of the first online influencers in China. She first gained notoriety in 2011 when she claimed to be manager of an organization under the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) and openly flaunted her wealth and extravagant lifestyle on social media. Guo's behavior dealt a major blow to the reputation of the RCSC, although both Guo and the RCSC denied having any relation. 

In 2015, Guo was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 50,000 yuan ($7,700) in 2015 for running a casino and was released in 2019.