Influencer dies after drinking huge amounts of alcohol in challenge

Chinese social media influencer drinks excessively on Douyin

A Chinese influencer has died after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol during a live stream on a social media platform, becoming the second person to die in the region as a result of heavy drinking in less than a month. Zhong Yuan Huang Ge, 27, also known as Brother Huang, died on June 2 after downing multiple bottles of baijiu, a drink made up of 60 per cent alcohol, as part of an online challenge.

It is the second incident in a month, after livestreamer Brother Three Thousand, 34, was found dead shortly after he was seen consuming excessive amounts of alcohol on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok.

Brother Three Thousand, whose last name was revealed as Wang, drank at least seven bottles of baijiu spirits during a livestream. He was found dead 12 hours after the broadcast, Chinese media reported.

In one video to his 176,000 followers, Huang had also filmed himself downing baijiu and lighting tissue paper soaked in alcohol, while another clip showed a stack of dozens of bottles.

It is believed he performed the dangerous stunt in a bid to boost his stream revenue to pay off outstanding debts.

His wife, known as Ms Li, said she would work for the rest of her life to pay off her husband of eight years’ debts, according to Straits Times.

Huan, who had built a house just this year, is also survived by a young son, who is getting ready to start kindergarten this year.

According to local media outlet Southern Metropolis Daily, Huang and Wang knew each other, with the former influencer even attending his friend’s funeral in May.

During the ceremony, he allegedly pledged to consume less alcohol, a promise that was later broken.

Huang and Wang had been known for drinking the Chinese liquor during their broadcasts.

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A video on social media, which went viral, showed Wang drinking several bottles of baijiu spirits and pouring some out to set fire to it on the table.

His death was widely discussed online in China and has prompted calls for stronger regulations of the nation’s thriving live streaming industry.

On May 16, Wang had taken part in four one-on-one battles with influencers with the aim of earning the most amount of gifts from fans within a short space of time.

He lost three of the rounds and then consumed baijiu as a punishment, totalling at least seven bottles that night, according to viewers.

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Wang finished his livestreaming after midnight; he was discovered dead the following afternoon, according to his friend.

“When his family found him, he was already gone. He didn’t even get a chance for emergency treatment,” a man named Mr Zhao told Shangyou News.

Drinking during live streams is banned by Douyin. Penalties include warnings, users being restricted from livestream competitions and users being shown on the app.

Wang had previously been banned from the app for drinking but he bypassed this by opening new accounts, Chinese media reported. His most recent account had amassed more than 44,000 followers.

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