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Video of Assault on Woman in Beijing Hotel Causes Urban Safety Concerns Amongst Netizens

Video footage of one woman being attacked near a hotel known for prostitution in the popular Beijing 798 neighbourhood has gone viral on Weibo and WeChat. The case causes concern amongst netizens, who fear for women’s safety in the city.

Manya Koetse

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Video footage of a woman being attacked near a hotel known for prostitution in the popular Beijing 798 neighbourhood has gone viral on Weibo and WeChat. The case causes concern amongst netizens, who fear for women’s safety in the city.

One Sina Weibo one user named Wanwan_2016 from Hangzhou posted a surveillance video on April 4 that showed her being attacked by a man in a hotel hallway in Beijing’s popular 798 Art District. The assault occurred on Sunday evening, April 3rd, just before 11 pm.

The video caused a lot of commotion amongst China’s netizens for multiple reasons. One of the major things that angered people was that the video revealed how bystanders and hotel staff did not help the woman when she was attacked by the man. It also raised concerns about the safety of Chinese hotels like the one where the assault occurred – which are meet-up places for prostitution. Many netizens furthermore spoke of the fact that Chinese media initially hardly covered the topic. Lastly, the case also increased public awareness on women having to be able to defend themselves in such situations.

By now, the topic has become an online sensation that has been shared nearly a million times, attracting thousands of comments within a time frame of 48 hours.

“Why is it tolerated in the minds of Chinese people that wives or children are beaten?”

The video clip that went viral is actually a video of a video – recorded by the victim as she is shown the security footage of her own assault. During the clip, you can hear the woman commenting and crying as she sees the footage of her own attack. The footage shows how the woman is assaulted by a man as she is about to leave the hotel. The man first grabs her by the throat and then drags her to the street, just outside the view of the surveillance cameras. Although the woman reportedly cries out, people passing by do not help her. One hotel staff person stands by as the man makes a phone call to take the girl away, but does not intervene. If it had not been for another female hotel customer who stops the man by the end of the video, it is likely that the woman would have been abducted.

According to China.org, one of the reasons people did not help out might be because they thought that this was a quarreling couple. One popular comment on Weibo said: “Why is it tolerated in the minds of Chinese people that wives or children are beaten? How many times has it happened that suspects pretend to be spouses or head of the household, so that bystanders don’t care about their cruel acts?”

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The comment raises a sensitive issue, as it is not the first time that perpetrators act as if the woman they are assaulting is actually their wife or girlfriend. In 2013, several stories of men dragging away women in the Beijing subway while pretending to be their husband or boyfriend also made their rounds on the internet.

“The problem is society’s indifferent attitude.”

Within hours after Wanwan herself posted the clip of her assault on her Weibo page, it was shared over 65,000 times, with netizens reacting in anger over the indifference of the hotel staff and bystanders. China.org reports that the hotel management issued an online statement saying that a fight between a man and a woman had taken place that night: “The hotel staff tried to separate them after hearing the noise. The man then made a phone call and tried to take the woman away. The woman sat down on the ground and called the police. When the man tried to drag the woman towards the emergency exit, he was stopped by a female customer and a hotel guard,” the statement said.

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Through her Weibo account, Wanwan calls for people to share the video so that more people know about it, and women can learn from it to be more vigilant. She also hopes for justice in this case. The topic went viral under the hashtag of ‘Woman attacked at Yitel Hotel’ (#和颐酒店女生遇袭#). By Wednesday, the video was shared more than 920,000 times and had attracted over 260,000 comments.

One netizen pointed out: “The crucial problem here is a great shortcoming of our society, where people have become accustomed to showing an indifferent attitude. The problem is not about where this happened (..), it is about the state of society.”

“I am so disappointed.”

Weibo netizens worry for women’s safety in Beijing and condemn the hotel chain that Yitel belongs to, Home Inns, complaining that these kinds of hotels are often used for prostitution and other illegal activities, are unsafe and have bad service: “I hope this case will raise hotel staff’s awareness on the safety of its customers,” one netizen says.

Homeinn has again commented one the case through its Weibo account earlier today (April 6), saying that “the police is currently investigating this case and we are assisting them in this, we are in close contact with them, and will report more on this matter soon.”

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Through Sina Weibo, state media outlet People’s Daily warns all women: “Ladies, please pass this on. Safety guidelines for women. A woman from Hangzhou was attacked at a Beijing hotel and police is investigating the case. Please keep this in mind: 1. Please do not go to appointed places with strangers. 2. Do not go into dark streets at night by yourself. 3. Do not just open the door for anyone. 4. Do not cling to your property in dangerous situations.”

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The guidelines also warn women not to take black cabs. Many netizens are critical about the warning as they feel that it puts the responsibility of an attack on the shoulders of women: “Isn’t it the job of the police to make sure we can safely go out?” one netizen wonders.

Wanwan herself only had one final reaction today to the media, police and hotel’s reactions: “I am so disappointed.”

– By Manya Koetse & Diandian Guo

Featured image: original footage screenshots compilated by What’s on Weibo

©2016 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 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

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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

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.

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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

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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

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.

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