A Chinese content creator died after consuming several bottles of the Chinese alcoholic beverage baijiu during a livestream.
The 34-year-old reportedly drank at least four bottles of the highly intoxicating clear liquor during the broadcast. He was discovered lifeless at 1 p.m. the same day at a friend's home. His body was cremated on Saturday after it was confirmed that day that the cause of his death was excessive drinking.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time can lead to alcohol poisoning and death.
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When consumed, extremely high levels of alcohol can shut down critical areas of the brain that control breathing, heart rate and body temperature. While such deaths affect people of all ages, these are most common among middle-aged adults and men.
Local reports suggested that Wang may have downed up to seven bottles of baijiu, which typically contains around 35% to 60% alcohol by volume.
Wang's friend, Mr. Zhao, described the incident as a "PK," referring to an online gaming term for a showdown or challenge. Another streamer, "Grandpa Ming," claimed that Wang drank seven baijiu bottles and three Red Bulls, although he did not specify the bottle sizes.
Viewers of Wang’s final livestream noted how the influencer showed signs of discomfort after consuming the first three bottles but continued drinking regardless. Before downing the final bottle, Wang reportedly declared, "I decide my fate, not heaven."
On Chinese social media, Wang’s death sparked a heated debate on the extreme stunts influencers perform on livestreaming platforms to attract views and the responsibility of these platforms to moderate such content.
Some commenters argued the streamer bears personal responsibility for his actions and criticized the viewers for not intervening during the livestream. Others, however, argued that it was the platform’s responsibility to moderate or restrict such acts, citing the rise of self-abuse acts on livestreams for attention and engagement.
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On Douyin, consuming alcohol during a livestream is considered a "level three violation," which carries punishments ranging from warnings to temporary bans. While Wang's original stream was blocked when he started drinking, he was able to continue streaming using alternative accounts to evade efforts to report him.
In 2019, another Chinese streamer died just before New Year’s Day after consuming large amounts of various liquids for three straight months.