Social Media Influencer Dies After Live-streaming Himself Drinking Bottles of Chinese Spirit Baijiu

A social media influencer died soon after live-streaming himself drinking several bottles of strong alcohol on China’s version of TikTok, state-run media in the country are reporting, in a development likely to renew debate about how to regulate the industry.

The influencer “Sanqiange” (or “Brother Three Thousand”) was found dead just hours after broadcasting himself taking part in a competition with a fellow influencer which involved drinking Baijiu, a Chinese spirit with a typical alcohol content of between 30% to 60%, Shangyou News reported.

One of his friends told the outlet that Sanqiange – identified by his real-life surname of Wang – had taken part in an online challenge known as “PK” against another influencer in the early hours of May 16 and live-streamed the results on his Douyin channel.

“PK” challenges involve one-on-one battles in which influencers compete with each other to win rewards and gifts from viewers, and often involve punishments for the loser – apparently in this case, drinking Baijiu.

“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 friend, identified only as Zhao, told Shangyou News.

“The PK games ended at around 1 a.m. and by 1 p.m., (when his family found him) he was gone,” he added.

Wang, described as a “decent and straightforward” person by Zhao, had a history of filming himself taking part in similar contests involving alcohol and posting them on the app.

A video appearing to show Wang taking part in his final challenge went viral on Chinese social media, but is no longer available for viewing.