An internet celebrity in China has died from drinking too much alcohol after a livestreamed drinking battle, making this the second fatality from such a game in a month.
The 27-year-old livestreamer’s wife confirmed with Chinese media outlet Jimu News on Tuesday that her husband, known by his online moniker Zhong Yuan Huang Ge or Brother Huang from the Central Plains, died from excessive consumption of alcohol on the morning of June 2.
The woman, surnamed Li, said her husband was desperately trying to earn money through livestreaming to repay hundreds of thousands of yuan in debt that he owed before his marriage.
The latest death comes after a livestreamer surnamed Wang was found dead on May 16 after he was last seen downing four bottles of baijiu, a potent colourless liquor with an alcohol content that ranges from 35 per cent to 60 per cent.
Huang was a good friend of Wang and attended his funeral, according to China media outlet Southern Metropolis Daily.
The tabloid also reported that a friend had heard Huang saying on the same day of the funeral that he would drink less alcohol.
According to Southern Metropolis Daily, Huang’s social media account had a following of 176,000 fans and his videos featured drinking baijiu, beer and other kinds of alcohol as well as cracking walnuts with his head and opening durians with his bare hands.
The account that he used to post short videos has since been banned, Ms Li told Jimu News.
In one video, Huang was reported to have lit a tissue paper soaked in alcohol before quickly drinking half a bottle of baijiu, eating a few scallions, downing the remaining alcohol and opening another bottle.
Ms Li said she had asked her husband several times about his debt, but he simply said that he wanted to pay it off as soon as possible and live a good life.
According to a video of Huang’s room posted by his relative, the wall in his room had Chinese phrases including “money is more important than life” and “life is not all about money, but you will need money to live the life you want”.
He had also just built a new house in the village this year and the couple had planned to earn money to renovate it after sending their son to kindergarten this year, she said.
Choking up, Ms Li said that she would work hard for the rest of her life to help pay off the debt owed by her husband, whom she knew for eight years.
She added that the family is still grieving his loss and would publicly share the circumstances of his death after they calmed down.
Huang’s death is the latest in a string of dangerous stunts performed by livestreamers in a bid to earn more monetary “gifts” from their viewers.
In 2021, a Chinese influencer died after being urged by her viewers to drink pesticide in a livestream.