Influencer dies after live-streaming himself drinking bottles of Chinese spirit Baijiu

OPINION | This article contains opinion. This site is licensed to publish this content.

A social media influencer named “Sanqiange,” which means “Brother Three Thousand,” was found dead just hours after filming a drinking competition involving Baijiu.

Baijiu is a Chinese spirit with an alcohol content between 30% to 60%.

The dangerous TikTok challenge involved one-on-one battles. Winners receive rewards and gifts from viewers. Losers often face punishment, such as drinking Baijiu.

Sanqiange’s friend said, “I don’t know how much he had consumed before I tuned in. But in the latter part of the video, I saw him finish three bottles before starting on a fourth.”

The games ended at around 1 a.m. and by 1 p.m., he was found dead.

According to Zhao, Wang was an honest and straightforward person. He had a history of filming himself participating in alcohol-related contests and sharing them on the app.

One of his videos, in which he presumably participated in his final challenge, went viral on Chinese social media but has since been removed.

China’s live-streaming industry has become a multibillion-dollar market, with entrepreneurs competing to sell their products on social media platforms in real-time. However, it has attracted authorities’ attention due to some streamers’ extravagant lifestyles and offbeat challenges.

Following these concerns, the country’s broadcasting authorities have imposed restrictions such as banning under-16s from tipping streamers and limiting their access after 10 p.m.

The National Video and Television Administration and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have also prohibited “31 misbehaviors by livestreamers,” including “encouraging vulgar user interaction or inciting fan attacks with rumors,” according to Global Times, a state media outlet.

Wang’s death is likely to fuel debates on regulating the industry further.