The creator of the Great Firewall of China was reportedly pelted with shoes and eggs during a visit to Wuhan University last week.
Fang Binxing was hit by one of the Nike trainers flung by an anonymous protestor*, whose actions have been met with a groundswell of online support, The Guardian reports.
Staff in the office of Fang Binxing denied the incident. However, the Graun quotes an officer at the Luojiashan public security bureau who said the attack was under investigation.
Fang, president of Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, was giving a speech at Wuhan arguing that pro-democracy protests in China would only bring chaos at the time of the assault.
Perhaps inevitably a Twitter user with the handle @hanunyi has claimed responsibility for the attack. "The egg missed the target. The first shoe hit the target. The second shoe was blocked by a man and a woman," he wrote.
Feng has been exposed to attack from netizens in China before. Last December he decided to close a blog after the site attracted waves of negative comment.
"I regard the dirty abuse as a sacrifice for my country," he said at the time. ®
George Bush was famously pelted with shoes by Iraqi reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi back in December 2008. Showing the soles of your feet to someone is a supreme gesture of contempt throughout the Arab world. Al-Zaidi was eventually jailed for three years over the stunt.