Li Jiaqi returns, Tangshan assault perpetrator gets 24 years, netizens question lack of menstrual pads for sale on trains, betel nut bans—it’s Viral Week
“Lipstick King” Li Jiaqi returns on air after three-month suspension
“Lipstick King” Li Jiaqi, one of China’s most successful livestreamers to date, returned on air 109 days after his live broadcast was abruptly shut down mid-stream on June 3. The 30-year-old had made a name for himself as a vendor and reviewer of cosmetic products, and set a record for making over 10.6 billion yuan’s worth of sales ahead of last year’s “Singles’ Day” shopping festival. The reason for Li’s suspension is still unknown, but 60 million viewers logged on to watch his broadcast stream on September 20, which included a warning for viewers to “shop rationally.”
Missing hydro plant employee found alive 17 days after Sichuan earthquake
Gan Yu, a hydropower station employee credited with saving hundreds of villagers’ lives after the September 5 earthquake in Sichuan province, was found alive 17 days after he went missing. Gan and a colleague, Luo Yong, had stayed behind to shut off the floodgates and turn off the generator in the station after the magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck, but later got separated when escaping. Luo was rescued on September 8, but Gan remained missing until September 21, when he was found by villagers. He had spent 17 days in the wilderness foraging for fruits and drinking from mountain streams, and had suffered multiple fractures, but is now in stable conditions.
Crackdown on areca after death of 36-year-old singer from cancer
Several cities have cracked down on sales of binglang (also known as areca berry or betel nut) after the death of Fu Song, a 36-year-old Hunan singer with a lifelong binglang-chewing habit, from oral cancer on September 12. In June, Fu posted a video expressing his regret over his areca addiction and warning people away from the fruit. Areca is a popular stimulant in South and Southeast Asia, as well as Hainan and Hunan provinces in China, with addictive properties and links to oral cancer. Cities including Yiwu in Zhejiang province and Chengdu and Nanchong, both in Sichuan, have mandated that binglang can no longer be packaged and sold as an ordinary food item. In 2021, national authorities also banned advertising for binglang on TV and internet streaming platforms, but there is local resistance toward banning a fruit supported by a billion yuan industry and strong cultural significance.
Tutor at prep school accused of molesting multiple minors over 15 years
Close to 20 people have come forward to accuse Du Yingzhe, director of a well-known Beijing organization preparing students for the Joint Artistic Examination (yikao) for entry into arts-related university programs, of molesting multiple underage female students over the last 15 years. Du is accused of physical and verbal harassment and of raping several students, one of whom became pregnant at age 17, and was confronted by the parents of one of his victims as early as 2013. He has since responded to the allegations, defending his “unconventional” teaching methods.
Main aggressor in Tangshan attack sentenced to 24 years in jail
A court in Langfang, Hebei province, sentenced Chen Jizhi to 24 years in prison for assaulting four women in a Tangshan barbecue restaurant in June. Surveillance footage of the brutal assault spread quickly after the incident, and sparked nationwide outrage about the attack and discussion about gender violence. The court found that Chen was a leader of a criminal gang in Tangshan, Hebei province, and also charged him 320,000 yuan. Prosecutors charged 28 other people linked to the attack, with prison terms ranging from 6 months to 11 years.
Lack of menstrual pads on trains provokes debate
A video showing a woman on a high-speed train trying to buy menstrual pads, which the train did not sell, provoked discussion online with many arguing the trains should have such essential items available. The official rail ticketing platform 12306 responded to the incident with a statement claiming female sanitary products were “private belongings” and wouldn’t be sold onboard trains. Some (mostly male) netizens attacked the woman for bringing the lack of sanitary products to light, accusing her of trying to gain special privileges for women, and suggesting women should be responsible for their own physical needs.
Sexist netizens attack female athlete’s choice of clothing
Netizens criticized athlete Feng Jingshuang for wearing awet suit that was “too revealing” during her ironman triathlon race last week. Feng responded to the public later that day, stating she was wearing specialist racing clothing and calling on the public to learn more about the sport before judging outfit choices.
A 21-year-old technical college student in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, went viral after a video showed him de-shelling raw chicken eggs using a lathe, without breaking the eggs’ delicate membranes. The student, who specializes in prototype modelling, peeled raw eggs as a way to refine his lathe skills.