China Nile relic vandal hunted down by netizens

BEIJING (AFP) - A Chinese tourist who defaced an ancient Egyptian monument was hunted down by Internet users who prompted his parents to apologise, state media reported on Monday.

A photo posted on Chinese social networking service Sina Weibo showed crudely drawn Chinese characters written over an ancient sandstone relic lined with hieroglyphics on the banks of the Nile River, the Global Times newspaper said.

Internet users hunted down the perpetrator, a 15-year-old boy named Ding Jinhao, and hacked the website of his school, forcing users to click on a sign parodying Ding's graffiti, before entering.

The online furore prompted his parents, who said Ding had "cried all night" after learning of the cyberattacks, to issue an apology in a local newspaper.

According to the China Daily, the vandalism took place in a temple at Luxor.

The incident highlights fears over perceptions of the growing number of Chinese heading abroad for their holidays.

The dire manners and "uncivilised behaviour" of some Chinese tourists overseas are harming the country's image, a top official said earlier this month, lamenting their poor "quality and breeding", according to state-run media.

Mr Wang Yang, one of China's four vice premiers, singled out for condemnation "talking loudly in public places, jay-walking, spitting and wilfully carving characters on items in scenic zones".

China has seen rapid growth in outbound trips in recent years, and Chinese travellers are now the biggest source of international tourism cash in the world, according to a the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

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