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Man Beats His Wife to Death in Street in Shanxi, Bystanders Look On

A man killed his wife in Shanxi in the middle of the street, yet nobody intervened.

Manya Koetse



What started with a minor accident ended with a fatal beating on October 31st in Shuozhou (朔州), Shanxi province, where a man got outraged after a traffic collision and then killed his wife.

On Saturday morning, around 10:00 AM, the man was riding a small electric car with his wife as a passenger, when they bumped into another vehicle.

According to witnesses, the man tried to flee the scene of the accident but was held back by his wife. The elderly couple then started arguing, after which the man threw his wife to the ground and started beating her with a brick. The man also attacked his wife with a farming pitchfork.

Witness sharing what they saw at the scene, Wechat conversation shared on Weibo.

Shocking videos of the scene, shot by various bystanders, are making their rounds on social media. (Viewer discretion advised – warning for very graphic content.)

Some footage shot at the start of the incident shows that there are at least four bystanders looking on while the man drags the woman to the ground and hits her in the head with a stool.

Footage shot at a later moment shows how the man stabs the woman’s body and face with the pitchfork as she lies motionless in the street.

As reported by various Chinese news outlets, there were many people at the scene; the incident occurred in a busy street in broad daylight. But before the police arrived, nobody stepped in to stop the man. The woman did not survive the attack.

On Sunday, the incident, including video footage shot by bystanders, went viral on Chinese social media. Some unofficial sources claimed the man had been intoxicated.

Local police issued a statement saying that the man has been detained.

Most of the discussions regarding this incident on Weibo focus on the fact that there were so many people passing by and watching this scene unfold while not stepping in.

“The coldness of the bystanders shocks and infuriates me,” one popular comment on Weibo said. “How can they just stand there with their arms folded?”

“Why is it more important to record this incident than to take action?”

“They’re worse than people witnessing an accident on a high-speed road,” one person wrote: “They’re so detached.”

There have been various incidents over the past decade in which China’s “bystander problem” became a topic of discussion, saying it relates to the Chinese concept of “mind your own business,” “shaoguanxianshi” (少管闲事), where people are accustomed to remaining uninvolved when it does not concern them.

The most well-known example is that of Wang Yue, the little toddler from Foshan who was run over by two vehicles in 2011 and laid in the street with 18 people passing her by without doing anything.

A notorious 2013 case is that of a 26-year-old Beijing woman who got her head stuck between railings next to a road. Although there were many people passing by and taking pictures, it took thirty minutes to call the police. The woman was later pronounced brain dead in the hospital.

Another incident that triggered a lot of anger in 2016 was that of an assault on a woman at a Beijing hotel. Video footage revealed how bystanders and hotel staff did not help the woman when she was attacked.

Sometimes people do not step in because they simply do not want to get involved and think someone else will solve the situation, and then there are those who do not intervene because they think it involves a marital dispute that an outside should not mingle in.

The first is an (arguably) global phenomenon also known as the ‘bystander effect’ or ‘bystander apathy‘, where people will not help a victim in need when other people are present. It is a social psychological matter – the more people who witness a person in peril, the less the chances are that one of them intervenes. In other words: one is more likely to help out in an emergency situation when one is alone than when there are ten people standing by.

But the second relates more to existing cultural and societal ideas about relationships and ‘private’ issues that nobody should interfere with. This topic recently also came up when Chinese vlogger Lhamu was killed by her ex-husband, with many people calling for more action against domestic abuse – stressing how important it is for people to realize that domestic violence is not a private matter.

“My god, why didn’t they just step in,” multiple people write: “This poor woman!”

“Would you dare to step in if you were present at the scene?”, one Weibo user asked other commenters.

“I would,” one person answered: “The guy uses a brick, not a gun. All it would take is for one person to go up and step forward.”

By Manya Koetse

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©2020 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.

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China Local News

Boy, 15, Fatally Beaten and Buried by Group of Minors in Shaanxi

The heinous crime has sparked discussions on the problem of campus violence and China’s criminal liability age.

Manya Koetse



A brutal incident that took place in the city of Xingping in Shaanxi province is top trending on Chinese social media today.

On October 29, a 15-year-old boy by the name of Yuan (袁) was fatally beaten and buried by a group of six people, all minors.

Beijing News reports that Yuan was a second-year student at the Xianyang Xingping Jincheng Middle School. He had taken time off from school and had a temporary job in Xi’an before the incident occurred.

Yuan’s father told reporters that his son had returned to Xingping on October 29. A small group of minors, including four students, allegedly demanded money from Yuan, which he refused. It is also reported that a conflict occurred because Yuan added one of the minors to his phone’s ‘blacklist’ (电话拉黑).

According to various news reports, the group of minors attacked the boy with a pickaxe after which he became unconscious. They then brought him over to a nearby hotel and discovered he was dead the next day. They later buried his lifeless body in a pit near the school premises.

The location where Yuan’s body was buried, photo by Beijing News.

On November 2, other students who had heard of the crime reported it to the police. Yuan’s body was found in the pit shortly after officers arrived at the scene.

Local authorities released a statement about the case on November 10, in which they stated the suspects have been detained and that the case is still under investigation.

Various sources on Weibo claim that Yuan previously also suffered beatings at school, with severe school bullying being the main reason for the 15-year-old to temporarily drop out of school.

In a video report by Pear Video, Yuan’s father says they are still unsure of how their son died, suggesting he might have still been alive when he was buried in the pit.

China has been dealing with an epidemic of school violence for years. In 2016, Chinese netizens already urged authorities to address the problem of extreme bullying in schools, partly because minors under the age of 16 rarely face criminal punishment for their actions.

On social media site Weibo and on the news app Toutiao, many commenters are not just angered about the incident but also focus on China’s laws regarding the criminal responsibility of minors.

Some write: “Our criminal laws for minors should protect minors instead of protecting juvenile offenders!”

China’s criminal liability age is currently set at 14. Last month, Global Times reported on a proposal to lower the age of criminal liability in China from 14 to 12 in response to concerns about an alleged increase in juvenile violence.

“These minors need to be severely punished,” multiple commenters wrote: “Who knows who else they might hurt?”

By Manya Koetse

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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China Food & Drinks

Viral Video Exposes Wuhan Canteen Kitchen Food Malpractices

Boots in the food bowl, meat from the floor: this Wuhan college canteen is making a food safety mess.

Manya Koetse



A video that exposes the poor food hygiene inside the kitchen of a Wuhan college canteen has been making its rounds on Chinese social media these days.

The video shows how a kitchen staff member picks up meat from the floor to put back in the tray, and how another kitchen worker uses rain boots to ‘wash’ vegetables in a big bowl on the ground, while another person is smoking.

The video was reportedly shot by someone visiting the canteen of the Wuhan Donghu University (武汉东湖学院) and was posted on social media on November 7.

According to various news sources, including Toutiao News, the school has confirmed that the video was filmed in their canteen, stating that those responsible for the improper food handling practices have now been fired.

The Wuhan Donghu University also posted a statement on their Weibo account on November 8, saying it will strengthen the supervision of its canteen food handling practices.

“The students at this school will probably vomit once they see this footage,” some commenters on Weibo wrote.

Wuhan Donghu University is an undergraduate private higher education institution established in 2000. The school has approximately 16,000 full-time undergraduate students.

“I’m afraid that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” one popular comment said, receiving over 25,000 likes.

Students from other universities also expressed concerns over the food handling practices in their own canteens, while some said they felt nauseous for having had lunch at the Wuhan canteen in question.

By Manya Koetse

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at

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