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8-Year-Old with HIV Banned from Chinese Village

8-Year-Old with HIV Banned: A small village in Sichuan has held a referendum for the banishment of an 8-year-old boy infected with HIV. The villagers unanimously agreed that the boy needs to be removed from the village and taken elsewhere to guarantee their own ‘safety’.

Manya Koetse



One of the top ten trending topics on Sina Weibo of December 17th 2014 is the case of a young HIV-infected boy expelled from his village (#艾滋男童被联名驱离#). Over 200 inhabitants from a village in Sichuan province (Xichong country) have signed a joint referendum on the banishment of the 8-year-old.

Journalist Guo Hongxin from Sichuan News reports that the inhabitants of a small Sichuan village have unanimously agreed that an 8-year-old HIV-infected boy needs to be removed from the village and taken elsewhere to guarantee the ‘safety’ of the villagers.

1The town meeting on December 7, 2014.

The boy, named Kunkun, was diagnosed with HIV in 2011 after he received hospital treatment for an accident. Doctors determined the boy had contracted the disease in his mother’s womb. The news of Kunkun’s condition soon spread like wildfire through the village.

Kunkun was raised by his ‘grandfather’ Luosheng, after Luosheng’s son and his girlfriend (Kunkun’s birth mother) left him in the village at nine months old. Luosheng’s son and Kunkun’s birth mother both work and live in Guangzhou city. Since the two are not officially married, Luosheng has no official family relation to Kunkun.

Although Luosheng’s son used to send money from Guangzou every month, he stopped contacting Luosheng and Kunkun once he heard of the boy’s condition.

Kunkun does not attend local school, as he is not accepted there. Parents feared the boy might bite their children or infect them in any way by touching.

3Kunkun, shunned from the small community.

On December 7th 2014, a special town meeting was arranged to discuss the status of the boy, proposing a referendum to send him away and arrange official facilities to care of him. 203 villagers signed the referendum, including grandfather Luosheng, who worries over the boy’s future due to his own old age and impoverished circumstances.

The village chief has stated that Kunkun will not be send away immediately, as the village leaders will first need to find an institution that will take him in. “Kunkun wants to go to school, but the school here is afraid to accept him. If Kunkun goes to school here, the other children won’t come anymore,” he says: “So we cannot solve the problem of his education here.” The village chief reaffirms that he hopes to find an organization that will take in Kunkun, and can provide him with medicine and schooling (Sichuan News 2014).

2The village referendum

Weibo netizens collectively express their concern for the mental well-being of Kunkun, who is already on his own at such a young age. Some netizens emphasize that the villagers’ fear for contracting HIV by normal contact is ungrounded, as other children will not be infected if they simply go to school with Kunkun. HIV is transmitted through body fluids such as blood, semen or breast milk.

It is estimated that 780,000 people are living with HIV in China. In 2011, 28,000 people died from AIDS. Since 2009, AIDS has been the leading cause of death among infectious diseases in China. Especially the provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, Henan, Sichuan, Xinjiang and Guangdong have the highest rate of HIV occurrence (Avert). HIV is a sensitive topic in Chinese society, as there is still a lot of stigma and discrimination around those who are infected. China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan has raised awareness on HIV through her activities as Ambassador for HIV/AIDS Prevention. The awareness and prevention of HIV are still a priority according to China’s 12th Five Year Plan. The trending story of Kunkun was published in a state-run newspaper – no coincidence, as Kunkun’s case has got people talking about HIV, which is exactly what the government wants. Raising awareness of HIV is too late for him and his fellow villagers, as the decision has already been made: Kunkun is no longer welcome.

– by Manya Koetse

The story of Kunkun as reported in the Sichuan News/People’s Daily.

©2014 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at


Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at, or follow on Twitter.



  1. Avatar


    December 17, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    This is extremely sad and a narrow-minded & uneducated reaction, but unfortunatly that is sadly still common (all over the world). For his sake it’ll probably be better if he left anyway, so he could actually attend school somewhere. I know that is easier said that done and if only he had a place to go. Sad sad sad.

    • Avatar

      Henk Van Tilburg

      December 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      SAD, the solution should be the education people of the town.
      If they need a permanent solution? I will adopted him… and give him a good life

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China Insight

From Hong Kong Protests to ‘Bright Future’ – The Top 3 Most Popular Posts on Weibo This Week

These are the most-read posts on Weibo this week.

Manya Koetse



The three most-read posts on Weibo over the past week – an overview by What’s on Weibo.

The protests in Hong Kong have been dominating Chinese social media throughout August, and the past week has been no different. Two out of three most-read posts on Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media platforms, were about Hong Kong this week.

A wrap-up:


#1 Hundreds of Hong Kong Taxi’s Flying Chinese National Flag

Image shared by CCTV on their Weibo account.

While Hong Kong is gearing up for the 13th consecutive weekend of mass anti-government demonstrations, there are no signs of the protests fizzling out any time soon.

The Hong Kong protests started in March and April of this year against an extradition bill that would allow local authorities to detain and extradite people wanted in mainland China, and have intensified over the past weeks.

Although authorities in mainland China initially remained quiet on the topic, the Hong Kong demonstrations have been dominating the trending streams on China’s popular social media platforms for all of August.

Through videos, online posters, and slogans, Chinese state media have propagated a clear narrative on the situation in Hong Kong; namely that a group of “separatists” or “bandits” are to blame for the riots that aim to “damage public security” in Hong Kong and are “dividing the nation.”

News outlets such as People’s Daily and CCTV are sharing many stories that emphasize the One China principle and praise the Hong Kong police force. Those voices in Hong Kong speaking up for the police force and condemning protesters using violence have been amplified in Chinese media.

One story that became the number one trending post on Weibo this week is that of dozens of Hong Kong taxi drivers hanging the Chinese national flag from their cars (video).

On August 23, the taxi drivers reportedly formed a rally against violence at Tsim Sha Tsui, waving the flags and putting up signs saying “I love HK, I love China.”

The hashtag “500 Hong Kong Taxi’s Hanging up Chinese National Flags” (#香港500辆的士挂上国旗#), hosted by CCTV, attracted over 700 million views on Weibo. The CCTV post reporting on the event received over half a million likes and 47000 shares.

The commenters mostly praise the Hong Kong taxi drivers for “standing up for Hong Kong” and flying the Chinese flag.

In English-language media, it has mostly been Chinese state media reporting on the rally. Xinhua, Women of China, ECNS, and Global Times all reported on the August 23 peace rally.

CNN only shortly reported how “a number of taxis have been spotted driving around the city displaying Chinese flags — something that has not happened on this scale during previous protests” (link).


#2 ‘Bright Future’ Title Song for Upcoming Movie ‘The Moon Remembers All’

Over 266.000 Weibo users have been sharing a post by Chinese actor Li Xian (李现) on the title track for the new Chinese movie The Moon Remembers All or River on a Spring Night (Chinese title: 春江花月夜).

The upcoming movie itself is a very popular topic on Weibo recently, attracting 430 million views on its hashtag page alone. The movie just finished shooting and will be released in 2020.

The song titled “Bright Future” (前程似锦) is sung by Taiwanese singer Chen Linong (陈立农) and Li Xian, who are both the leading actors in the fantasy movie. The song was released on August 29.

The Moon Remembers All is produced by Edko Films and directed by Song Haolin (宋灏霖), also known for Mr. Zhu’s Summer (2017) and Fatal Love (2016).


#3 Interview with Hong Kong Pro-Beijing LegCo Member Junius Ho

The third most popular Weibo post of this week comes from Xia Kedao (侠客岛), a popular commentator account for the People’s Daily Overseas Edition, and concerns a live broadcasted interview with Hong Kong lawmaker and Legislative Council (LegCo) member Junius Kwan-yiu Ho.

Junius Ho (何君尧) is known as being ‘pro-Beijing’ and stirred controversy earlier this summer when a viral video showed him shaking hands with men wearing white T-shirts who allegedly were linked to the mob attacking people at the Yuen Long MTR station on July 21.

Xia Kedao describes Junius Ho as a “straightforward” politician who “speaks out for justice” and denounces “reactionaries.”

In the August 28 interview, that was live-streamed on Sina Weibo and later also written up, the Hong Kong legislator discussed the background of the protests.

Ho argues that the people with “ulterior motives” used the extradition bill for their own power struggle, distorting and exaggerating the facts behind the regulation.

The politician also partly links the protests to a “weak national consciousness” in Hong Kong due to its education curriculum and says that there have not been enough legal consequences for those participating in illegal activities and riots.

Thousands of commenters on Weibo write that they appreciate Ho for speaking out against the “pro-independence riot youth” and praise him for his “deep understanding” of mainland China.

By now, Junius Ho, who is also active on Weibo with his own account, has gathered more than half a million fans on his page.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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China Insight

Exchange Student to Be Deported from China for Harassing Young Woman at University

An exchange student studying at the Hebei University of Engineering has been expelled and will soon be deported after harassing a female student.

Manya Koetse



An exchange student from Pakistan who was studying at the Hebei University of Engineering (河北工程大学) has been expelled and detained after harassing a female student at the same university.

The incident, that is attracting much attention on Chinese social media this week, adds to the wave of recent controversies over the behavior and status of overseas students in mainland China.

On July 31, a female student at the Hebei university filed a police report against a Pakistani student who allegedly harassed her and attempted to forcefully kiss her and touch her breasts.

Screenshots of a supposed WeChat conversation between the exchange student and the female student, in which the man apologizes and claims the interaction is a “requirement for friendship,” are being shared on social media.

According to various reports, the police initially tried to mediate between the two students, which the female student refused.

Together with the school principal, the police then further investigated the case and found ample evidence of harassment after examining the university’s surveillance system.

On August 1st, the Hebei University of Engineering announced that they had expelled the student and that he will be deported from China. The announcement received more than 14,000 reactions and 150,000 ‘likes’ on Weibo.

The student is now detained at the local Public Security Bureau and is awaiting his deportation.

A photo of two officers together with a man in front of the detention center in Handan is circulating on social media in relation to this incident.

At time of writing, the hashtag page “Exchange Student to Be Deported after Molesting Female Student” (#留学生猥亵女学生将被遣送出境#) has been viewed over 310 million times on Weibo.

Among thousands of reactions, there are many who praise the Hebei university for supporting the female student after she reported the exchange student to the police.

“This may not be the best university, but at least they stand behind their students!”, some say, with others calling the university “awesome.”

Many say that the Hebei university should serve as an example for other Chinese universities to follow, with Shandong University being specifically mentioned by Weibo users.

Shandong University was widely criticized earlier this summer for its “buddy exchange program,” which was accused of being a way to arrange Chinese “girlfriends” for male foreign students.

Another incident that is mentioned in relation to this trending story is that of an exchange student who displayed aggressive behavior towards a Chinese police officer in July of this year. The student was not punished for his actions, which sparked anger on Chinese social media.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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