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Bad Mom To Be? Pregnant Woman Intentionally Trips 4-Year-Old Boy in Baoji

Footage of a 7-month-pregnant woman in Baoji tackling a 4-year old boy has triggered waves of discussions on Weibo this weekend.

Manya Koetse

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This weekend, footage of a pregnant woman intentionally letting a little boy trip in a restaurant in the city of Baoji, Shaanxi province, has stirred controversy on Chinese social media.

The incident occurred on April 19. A surveillance camera in a local malatang (spicy hot pot) restaurant captured how a young boy runs into the establishment, carelessly pushing aside the transparent wind blockers in the door. They hit the face of the pregnant woman sitting by the door, who then spills some food on herself.

The woman, clearly agitated, waits for the boy to run out of the restaurant again. She then deliberately holds out her foot and makes the boy trip and fall.

According to various Chinese news sources, the boy is the 4-year-old son of local shopkeepers, who ran into the restaurant to grab some chopsticks for his mother. Soon after the fall, his mum rushed into the restaurant, asking the woman for an explanation. The pregnant woman then claimed she had a stomach pain and left with her husband before the police, alerted by the boy’s parents, arrived at the scene.

The boy was briefly taken to the hospital for a check-up after his fall, but suffered no serious injuries, as his mother noted on social media (image below).

One witness, who was also at the diner when this happened, told China Business News reporters that the boy’s action made the pregnant woman spill her food all over herself. According to this witness, the boy’s parents stood outside and saw what had happened, but did not apologize.

This incident and its footage have gone viral over Chinese internet since Friday, and has been widely covered by Chinese news outlets over the past 48 hours. On Weibo, the hashtag “Pregnant woman stretches foot to tackle child” (#孕妇伸腿绊倒幼童#) was viewed more than 67 million times by Sunday, attracting thousands of comments.

Although some blame the boy’s parents, most netizens agree that the woman’s reaction was completely inappropriate, and some are even worried about the woman becoming a mother herself.

“The young boy rushed inside and hit the pregnant woman with the wind curtain,” one commenter says: “The pregnant woman has the right to be angry for not getting an apology from the boy’s parents. The parents probably did not see their child hit someone, but all the other people did see it happen. (..) However, how the woman reacts is really childish and exaggerated.”

Another top commenter says: “I think this pregnant woman is overreacting. The child is still young and ignorant. You can tell him off, but you can’t tackle him. He is carrying chopsticks in his hand – what if you’d really hurt him? You’ll be a mother soon, aren’t you afraid of your own children being harmed? Your aggression is not good for you baby. You’re an adult – shame on you!”

“I hate little brats such as this one, but you can’t go further than scolding them – this is immoral.”

This case has become such a big topic this weekend because both children and pregnant women are vulnerable social groups, and mothers-to-be are especially expected to be loving and kind to little children – this behaviour is not in line with social expectations. One female Weibo netizen said: “I can understand that pregnant women can sometimes react with an irrational temperament, but this cannot be justified.” Another person wrote: “Being pregnant

Since the case has blown up on Chinese social media, the pregnant woman has become a target of the so-called ‘human flesh search engine’, with people looking to reveal her identity and personal details online. Some even say they hope something will be wrong with her baby.

The woman has since turned herself in at the police station, and has apologized for what she has done. Although the woman was initially punished with a 10-day prison sentence and a 1000 yuan fine (±$158), she was pardoned from going to prison because she is 7 months pregnant.

The 4-year-old boy’s mother has stepped forward and have asked people not to bother the pregnant woman anymore, and to leave her in peace.

“The boy’s parents are really generous,” some respond: “They return good for evil.”

Check out our latest video on this issue here:

By Manya Koetse, with contribution from Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2018 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. 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 manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Health & Science

No Need for Plague Panic? China’s Trending Plague Outbreak

After the Year of the Pig brought swine flue, some fear the Year of the Rat will bring the ‘rat plague.’

Manya Koetse

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For the past nine days, during which three cases of the plague have been reported in China, the deadly bubonic plague has become a hot topic on Chinese social media.

The topic first made headlines on November 12, when Chinese state media announced that two people, a husband and wife from Inner Mongolia, were transported to Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with the pneumonic plague.

The couple reportedly got sick after eating raw marmot kidney.

A 55-year old hunter from the same region, the Inner Mongolian Xilingol League, was later also diagnosed with bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit meat.

The bubonic plague, also called the ‘Black Death,’ is an infectious disease that is known to have caused one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, killing millions of people in 14th century Europe.

News of the three cases of bubonic plague reminded many of the 2003 SARS panic; an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused over 8000 cases that year.

The World Health Organisation criticized China at the time for covering up the scale of the problem, with officials conceding in the Spring of 2003 that China’s SARs problem was “nearly 10 times worse than had been admitted.”

Current online reports on the bubonic plague in China stress that there is no reason for panic, with a hospital spokesperson confirming that the situation is “under control.”

42 people who are known to have come into contact with the Chinese patients have all been quarantined and were not found to have any symptoms of catching the disease.

Chinese (state) media channels are spreading social media posts this week that mainly emphasize that the plague “can be prevented, controlled, and managed,” and that it can be effectively treated.

“Don’t panic over plague outbreak,” Sina News headlines, with People’s Daily posting on Weibo that, according to the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “there is no need to worry.”

The bubonic plague primarily affects rodents and other animals, with animals – and incidentally humans – usually contracting the infection through insects such as (rat) fleas. This form of plague is highly contagious – can spread through coughing – and could be fatal within days if left untreated (Benedict 1996, 4).

Mammals such as rabbits or marmots, as eaten by the recent Chinese patients, but also rats, squirrels, gerbils, mice, etc., can all harbor the disease.

Although the disease is increasingly rare, and for many is something from the history books, there were still 3248 cases worldwide between 2010 and 2015, leading to 584 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Although Chinese media stress that there is no need to panic over the recent outbreak of the bubonic plague, many netizens still fear an epidemic, making comments such as: “The Year of the Pig brought the [African] swine fever, now the plague is starting just before the Year of the Rat!” (The word for ‘plague’ in Chinese is 鼠疫 shǔyì, literally meaning ‘rat plague’ or ‘mouse plague’).

Others are asking questions such as: “Do we risk the plague more if we have mice in the house?” and “How can we prevent getting it?”

Meanwhile, according to Jiemian News reports, the area in Inner Mongolia where the patients originally contracted the illness is currently under strict control by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture; some roads are closed off, and there’s temperature screening for those taking public transport.

The area has seen four cases of plague over the past decades, the most recent one before this month being in 2004.

Last news on the current three patients was from last Saturday, when it was reported that at least one of the patients is now in stable condition.

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

References

Benedict, Carol Ann. 1996. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth Plague in Nineteenth Century China. Stanford University Press.

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

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China Books & Literature

“The End of an Era”? – Beijing Bookworm Closes Its Doors

Manya Koetse

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As news of The Bookworm’s closing makes its rounds on social media, Beijingers have responded in shock, mourning the loss of an iconic and meaningful meeting place for book(worm) lovers around the city.

The Bookworm Beijing, at Nansanlitun Road, is a bookshop, library, bar, restaurant and events space that has become a center of cultural exchange for Beijing’s foreign community since 2005.

The location is a beating heart of Beijing’s literary world; a place where writers, journalists, students, diplomats, academics, and all kinds of people – both foreign and Chinese – come together to exchange knowledge, read, and sit down for a glass of wine.

Today, the Bookworm announced its sudden closure via WeChat, writing:

It is with heavy hearts that we are forced to announce the impending closure of The Bookworm Beijing after 14 wonderful years in Courtyard No. 4 off SouthSanlitun Road. Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of “illegal structures”, and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease.”

The announcement further says that the location will be forced to suspend operations “most probably” as of Monday, November 11, and that the Bookworm will attempt to reorganize and find a new location.

News of the Bookworm’s closing has been becoming a topic of conversation on various social media sites from WeChat to Twitter and Weibo.

Famous Chinese journalist and author Luo Changping (罗昌平) writes on Weibo: “The Bookworm is forced to close! It used to be next door to my former office, and it was once like my living room. Sigh.”

Shanghai comedian Storm Xu called the closure of the Beijing Bookworm “the end of an era,” saying he looks back on many good memories there.

“They had many events, good food, special books; I used to go there a few times per year,” one person writes. “This really is so sad,” other Weibo users respond.

There are also various Weibo commenters who also mention that news of Bookworm’s closing comes just a day after the news that publisher of magazine-books and online bookseller Duku Books (读库) is forced to close its Beijing warehouse for the sixth time.

Over the past decade, many popular venues in Beijing have been forced to close their doors or relocate. Beijing hangouts such as Bed Bar, Salud, Vineyard Cafe, 2 Kolegas, Jiangjinjiuba, Mao Livehouse, Hercules, Aperativo, The Bridge Cafe, Great Leap Brewery Sanlitun, Jing-A Taproom 1949, and many others have all been closed over the past years.

Nightlife hotspot Sanlitun bar street was demolished and bricked up in 2017 as part of the mission of the city management to gentrify the area.

Changing Sanlitun in 2017.

The demolishment of “illegal structures” in the city has been an ongoing effort of the local government for years. These efforts became especially visible in late 2017 when people in Beijing’s Daxing area faced a large-scale evacuation campaign after a big fire broke out there on November 18, killing 19 people.

The large-scale evacuation campaign was also expanded to other areas of Beijing in a campaign by the municipal authorities aimed at unlicensed developments to target “illegal structures” and “buildings with potential fire hazards.”

But many people on Weibo and WeChat questioned if the campaign was actually more about politics than about safety concerns – something that was strongly refuted by state media outlets at the time.

These questions will remain unanswered, also for the Bookworm. Is its closure really about closing down an “illegal structure,” or are there more politically-motivated considerations playing a role here? On Weibo, some commenters say the location is closed down for being a home of free discussions and “free thinking,” while others say that no matter what the place is, the building’s safety and legal status is what matters here.

Perhaps the future will tell. We surely hope the Bookworm will soon pop up and open its doors in another location very soon.

Those who are interested can support the Bookworm by coming by and buying books, which will be heavily discounted, until November 11.

By Manya Koetse

Images: Bookworm images by The Bookworm, edited by What’s on Weibo.
Sanlitun Image: Might have been taken by Manya in Beijing 2017, but we’re not 100% sure so let us know if we’re mistaken.

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

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

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