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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.

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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

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.

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

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Health & Science

Shanghai ‘Dead Man’ Taken Away to Morgue, Found to Be Alive

An incident in which a man taken to a morgue turned out to be alive doesn’t really help to restore residents’ trust in Shanghai.

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An incident in which a Shanghai man, who was thought to be dead, was taken to a funeral home before he was found to be alive has become a big topic on Chinese social media.

The incident happened on the afternoon of May 1st at the Shanghai Xinchangzheng Nursing Home (上海新长征福利院) in the city’s Putuo District.

A video of the incident went viral on Chinese social media in which a body bag can be seen put into a vehicle by three people, two members of staff from the nursing home and one funeral home worker. Shortly after, the body bag is taken out again and put back on a trolley. One of the nurses zips open the bag, pulls a cover from the man’s face, and apparently finds him to be alive.

“He’s alive,” one of the workers says in shock: “He’s alive, I saw it, he’s alive. Don’t cover him any more.”

The man is then transferred back into the nursing home, still inside the body bag.

The video that is making its rounds on social media was filmed from two different angles, the person filming can be heard calling the incident “a disgrace for human life” and “irresponsible.”

On May 2nd, the Chinese state media outlet People’s Daily posted about the incident on Weibo, saying the city district is currently investigating the case. The man was hospitalized and his vital signs are stable.

Meanwhile, multiple people are held accountable for the incident. The head of the nursing home has been dismissed and will be further investigated, along with four district officials. The license of the doctor involved will also be revoked.

The Shanghai Xinchangzheng Nursing Home has also apologized for the incident (#上海一福利院就未死亡老人被拉走道歉#).

On social media, many people are angry about the incident, wondering why the old man was transported to the funeral home in the first place, and why the members of staff seemed to be indifferent after finding out he was still alive.

In the video, the member of staff standing next to the man can be seen covering the patient’s face again after finding out he is still alive, leaving the body bag zipped up. Many also see this as a cold and incomprehensible way to respond.

After weeks of online anger about the chaotic and sometimes inhumane way in which Shanghai authorities have been handling the Covid outbreak in the city, this incident seems to further lower the public’s trust in how patients and vulnerable residents are being treated.

“Shanghai is such a terrifying place!”, some on Weibo write.

“Just think about it,” one person responded: “This incident took place in one of China’s most prosperous cities and happened to be filmed. How much is happening in other cities that is not caught on camera? Today, it’s this man, in the future, it’s us.”

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse, with contributions by Miranda Barnes

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©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China and Covid19

‘Hard Isolation’ is Shanghai’s New Word of the Day

In line with a new ‘hard isolation’ measure, the entrances of some Shanghai residential buildings were fenced up.

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While some Shanghai households have already endured weeks of isolation, a new word was added to their epidemic vocabulary today: ‘hard isolation’ or ‘strong quarantine’ (yìng gélí 硬隔离)

The word popped up on Chinese social media on April 23rd after some Shanghai netizens posted photos of fences being set up around their community building to keep residents from walking out.

“New word: hard isolation. Shanghai is rotten to the core,” one commenter wrote.

The word soon turned into a hashtag page where people started commenting on the issue of fences being placed around residential buildings, voicing concerns on what a fence around buildings would mean for fire safety, especially after online rumors suggested that there had been a fire at one community in Pudong on Saturday night.

An official document regarding the ‘hard isolation’ measure was also shared online on Saturday. It is dated April 23, 2022, and its source is the Pudong New Area Office for Epidemic Control.

The document states that in line with the guidelines for the city’s epidemic prevention and control, the division between areas or zones that are in certain risk categories should be ‘optimized,’ with those in the high-risk category requiring a ‘hard isolation.’ Security guards should also be on duty 24 hours a day at the entrance of the buildings.

Earlier this month, Shanghai adopted “3-level control measures” after its initial phased lockdown. It means that local areas will be classified as “locked-down,” “controlled” or “precautionary,” based on their Covid19 risk.

“Could we also put fences around the homes of Shanghai leaders?”, one person suggested, while others posted images from the Walking Dead to mock the situation.

In the hope of Shanghai soon tackling the Covid situation, not everybody disagreed with the decision to fence some buildings or communities in the Pudong area: “I don’t disagree with it, as long as there is always someone there to open the fence in case of fire,” one person stated.

Although having a fence around their building is currently not a reality for most in Shanghai, the online photos of some communities seeing their buildings being fenced up is a reason to worry for some: “It’s been 40 days, and now they start hard isolation? This actually scares me. Before we know it, it’s June.”

One Weibo user asked: “Why is it possible to implement this hard isolation now? Was this created by the same persons who also implemented the rule to separate children from parents at isolation sites?”

“I truly can’t imagine why some people thought this is a good idea,” others wrote.

For more articles on the Covid-19 topics on Chinese social media, check here.

By Manya Koetse

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

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.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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