What are Chinese livestreamers willing to pay for fame?
Fame is fickle, as the old saying goes. But then again, if you are a livestreamer in Asia, you have an idea as to how to make people cough up their likes, shares, comments, and virtual/cash gifts.
There is an alarming trend of Chinese livestreamers tempting fate and death for a shot at popularity. It has been estimated that there at least 900 live streaming platforms serving China, and over 10 million active vloggers all over the country.
Centipedes and Live Geckos
Chinese vloggers/livestreamers appear to be on the losing end this year, no thanks to the incredibly risky things that China’s online personalities are doing to entertain their viewers. One Chinese vlogger, identified only by his last name, Sun, allegedly died after consuming live geckos and poisonous insects in his flat as part of his livestream. His body was discovered by his girlfriend last July 20, in his apartment in Hefei, China.
Sun had been livestreaming on DouYu, a state-approved live streaming website. At the time of his death, Sun had 15,000 followers already. To amuse his viewers and attract more followers, Sun regularly played a game where he would spin a wheel and ate whatever was listed on the wheel when it stopped moving.
The wheel would be filled with inedible and dangerous things like centipedes, geckos, mealworms, and also alcoholic beverages like beer and baijiu. Sun’s final, fatal livestream happened on July 18, 7:53 PM.
He had been livestreaming himself consuming poisonous centipedes and live geckos. As of this writing, DouYu has already taken down the majority of Sun’s videos. The police report indicated that Sun had died of suffocation, but failed to clarify if the suffocation was the result of the consumption of the items on the wheel, or not.