Chinese live-video streamer drank himself to death

A 29-year-old man living in Northern China has died after consuming litres of alcohol, cooking oil and other beverages for three months non-stop, while doing live-video streaming on one of the country’s popular social media apps.

Chu live streamed himself drinking cooking oil (Photos source: Weibo)

The man identified only by his surname, Chu, collapsed and died after his final broadcast on 31 December following a live steaming session of him drinking alcohol in a supermarket in the port city Dalian on the Chinese snapchat-like app Liaoliao, Chinese media The Paper reported this week.

In old video clips, Chu was seen drinking gallons of alcohol and at one time even cooking oil for viewers and fans in order to generate clicks and cash rewards from them.

In some Chinese live streaming platforms, streamers are rewarded with virtual gifts and cash if the content of the video is entertaining and eye-catching, leading many to go to extremes.

In one video, Chu was seen twitching and told his viewers he couldn’t drink any more but was encouraged to go on. Other clips showed him passing out after heavy drinking and vomiting on the ground, according to the Chinese report. Sessions like this would bring in about RMB 500 (US$75) a day.

A friend close of Chu told The Paper: “He has been drinking for three months. Within that time, he was drinking alcohol, beverages, cooking oil and beer. He never stopped.”

Another man called Wang who lent Chu the live streaming rooms felt he was partly responsible for his death, when interviewed.

“Of course, I have responsibility,” he said. “After all, he did the broadcasting in my room. I have responsibility but I was only assisting him and did not force him. He’s someone who knew what he was doing. The primary party responsible for this should be the [live-streaming] platform,” he said.

The Wuhan-based Liaoliao app has been shut down and blacklisted by Wuhan authorities.

Content on the app included drinking, gambling and other “inappropriate” broadcasting material, the report said.

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