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Influencer dies after going live drinking bottles of Chinese Baijiu liquor

A social media influencer died shortly after going live drinking several bottles of hard liquor on China’s version of TikTok, the country’s state-run media report, in a development likely to reignite debate over how to regulate the industry.

The “Sanqiange” (or “Brother Three Thousand”) influencer was found dead just hours after going public while entering a contest with another influencer that involved drinking Baijiu, a Chinese spirit with an alcoholic content typical range between 30% and 60%, Shangyou News reported.

A friend of his told the outlet that Sanqiange – identified by his real last name of Wang – took part in an online challenge known as “PK” against another influencer in the early hours of May 16 and had broadcast the results live on its Douyin Channel.

“PK” challenges involve one-on-one battles in which influencers compete to win rewards and gifts from viewers, and often involve punishment for the loser – apparently in this case, drinking Baijiu.

“I don’t know how much he had consumed before I logged on. But in the last part of the video, I saw him finish three bottles before starting a fourth,” the friend, identified only as Zhao, told Shanyou News.

“The PK games ended around 1 a.m. and by 1 p.m. (when his family found him) he was gone,” he added.

Wang, described as a “decent and direct” person by Zhao, used to film himself entering similar contests involving alcohol and post them on the app.

A video appearing to show Wang taking part in his final challenge has gone viral on Chinese social media, but is no longer available for viewing.

In recent years, the country’s burgeoning live-streaming scene has spawned a multi-billion dollar industry, in which entrepreneurial-minded influencers compete to sell their wares in real-time on social networks. social media platforms.

Wang’s death is likely to fuel a debate around industry regulation, which has come to the attention of authorities in recent years due to the lavish lifestyles of some streamers and the offbeat challenges they participate in.

Last year, the country’s broadcasting authorities banned young people under the age of 16 from tipping streamers and restricted their access after 10 p.m.

China’s National Video and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism also decided to ban “31 misconduct by live broadcasters”.

Among such misconduct is “encouraging users to interact in vulgar ways or inciting fans to attack with rumors,” according to state media outlet Global Times.

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