Last Updated on 2023-05-30 , 10:13 am
When you mention the dangers of alcohol, people often think about drink driving, which can cause horrific accidents such as the tragic Tanjong Pagar car crash in 2021.
The next thing which may come to mind is the physical harm excessive alcohol consumption can have on the human body, including on one’s liver.
Well, in China, excessive alcohol consumption appears to have claimed the life of one live streamer.
Here is what happened.
Livestreamer Drank at Least 4 Bottles of Baijiu
Earlier this week, a live streamer, 34-year-old Wang Moufeng, was reported to have passed away after drinking a copious amount of baijiu during a live stream.
Wang, who was based in Jiangsu, was known by his online moniker, San Qian Ge (Hanyu pinyin), which roughly translates to Brother Three Thousand.
Baijiu is a colourless Chinese clear-grain liquor. It is known for having a very high alcohol content, between the ranges of 35 per cent and 60 per cent.
Less than 12 hours after the live stream on Douyin (the Chinese version of the social media platform TikTok), Wang was found dead.
During the live stream, Wang was seen drinking at least four bottles of baijiu. He reportedly poured some baijiu on the table and lit it up to use the liquid’s flammability to prove its authenticity. All four bottles were allegedly drunk in quick succession as a forfeit when he lost drinking battles with other streamers.
Our livers are hurting just by reading this.
However, there are different accounts of how much Wang drank that day. One account suggests that Wang had drank up to seven bottles of baijiu that day.
A friend of Wang revealed to the Chinese media that his drinking was part of a “PK” or “player kill” battle with other live streamers. These “PK” challenges typically involve a one-on-one battle between influencers or streamers to win challenges. Fans or viewers may reward the winner with virtual gifts and, sometimes, money.
A live streamer under the name of “Grandpa Ming” also shared during his broadcast what he knew about the deceased Wang’s drinking challenge.
According to Grandpa Ming, there were four rounds of “PK”, where Wang drank one bottle of baijiu in the first round. This was upgraded to two bottles of baijiu and three cans of energy drinks in the second round. There was no penalty for Wang in the third round, but the fourth round saw him drinking four bottles.
So, a total of seven bottles of baijiu and three cans of energy drinks were consumed by Wang, based on Grandpa Ming’s speculations.
There are yet other accounts from Wang’s viewers and friends, who spoke to Chinese media outlets, sharing that they saw the live streamer drinking before he started the stream.
All that alcohol consumption also appears to have taken a toll on Wang well before his death. A Chinese media outlet, Shangyou News, reported that Wang looked “obviously a little unwell” after he downed three bottles of baijiu.
This did not deter him from continuing to drink, with accounts saying that Wang asserted he “decides his fate” and “not heaven”.
Putting His Life on the Line to Earn Money
For those who cannot fathom why Wang would drink so much, it seems like drinking was an “easy” way for Wang to earn money.
Live streams are one way for people to earn money, as viewers can send the live streamer money if they later feel like it. One kindergarten teacher in China made ten years’ worth of salary in a single live stream, prompting her to quit her job as a teacher to start a full-time live-streaming career.
Wang’s latest account on Douyin had 44,000 followers, and he had a pattern of creating new accounts on Douyin after his previous accounts were shut down (likely due to the alcoholism depicted—Douyin bans its users from drinking during their live streams).
One of Wang’s earlier videos apparently recorded him promising to consume a large amount of baijiu if his viewers sent him a certain amount of money.
As Wang leaves behind an elderly and ill father, and a teenage daughter (as reported by Jimu News), it could well be that Wang’s stunts were for the simple reason of trying to secure a better future for his family.
Wang’s stunt seems to be a concerning trend in view of live streamers performing dangerous stunts in a bid to elicit monetary gifts from their viewers.
In 2021, a Chinese influencer was egged on by her viewers to drink pesticide in a live stream. She passed away at the tender age of 25 after the stunt.
In response, the Chinese government appears to be clamping down on such dangerous practices. In particular, the country’s authorities banned youths aged 16 and under from tipping streamers. Their access to live streams was also blocked after 10 pm.
The National Video and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have also proposed bans for certain types of live streamer “misbehaviour”. Chinese media outlets report that such “misbehaviour” include those which are “encouraging users to interact in vulgar ways or inciting fans to attack with rumours”.
What do you think about this situation? Should the live streamers be mindful of their own actions and health when performing such stunts, or should the government and social media platforms be more proactive in policing such actions?
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