In the first of the Tuesday matches that prompted the uproar, Wang and Yu played South Korea's Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na in a game in which "neither side seemed to be exerting themselves," the official Olympic news service said.
After several serves by both pairs went into the net, the tournament referee, Torsten Berg, was called to the court, the news service reported, "where he warned all four players amid a chorus of boos from the crowd."
The South Koreans eventually won the "repeatedly interrupted match," securing first place in their group, according to the news service. But that put them in the same side of the draw as Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei, a Chinese duo who are ranked No. 2 in the world.
The second controversial match took place about an hour later, pitting South Korea's Ha Jung-eun and Kim Min-jung against the Indonesians Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii.
Play in that contest was "sluggish early on," the Olympic news service reported, and Berg was called onto the court at least twice "with the crowd calling for the players to be sent off."
Former badminton player Andy Goode, who represented Britain at the 1992 Olympics and managed the team four years later, said the disqualification was the right call for the sake of the sport.
"It was a decision they had to make, and they had to make quickly," he said. "I've never seen any sporting event, any major event, where two players or two pairs just stood on a court and haven't tried."
But Goode said the kind of tactical play seen Tuesday "does go on," especially in countries where the team ethic is very important.
"These players, I feel for them a little bit, because this wasn't their decision; their team has told them to lose these games," he said.
The world champion Chinese pair, Wang and Yu, "were going for gold, and this was just part of their journey to get to that gold."
They probably didn't see anything wrong with what they did because they were focused on the next round and winning medals for their country, he said.
Goode said he hoped the furor would not have a negative effect on the racket sport longer term, given the swift response by its governing officials.
British sports fans going into the Olympic Park on Wednesday said the athletes' behavior was "shocking."
"It's not in the spirit of the thing," said Kevin Button of Ashford, in southeastern England, who had watched parts of the matches on television.
"And it's so disappointing for the people who came to see it," said his wife, Tina. "It leaves a bit of a sour taste."
The debacle has prompted wide debate on social media, with opinion divided on whether the players were exercising tactical nous within a poorly designed system or were guilty of failing the Olympic spirit and bringing the game into disrepute.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of the London Olympic organizing committee, was clear where he stood on the controversy, describing the spectacle as "depressing" and "unacceptable."
"I mean, who wants to sit through something like that?" he asked.
The game of badminton dates back centuries but has been an Olympic sport only since 1992. Competition has been dominated by China, Indonesia, South Korea and Denmark, according to the federation.
China has won 11 of the 24 Olympic gold medals awarded in badminton since 1992, according to the International Olympics Committee's database.
Although not widely played in the United States, badminton -- viewed as one of the fastest racket sports -- is popular in many European and Asian nations.
OfficialBadminton.com says it is played by 200 million people worldwide and is the national sport of Indonesia and Singapore.