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Yunnan “Ice Boy” Walks to School in -9 Degrees Celsius

He walked 4,5 kilometers in -9 degrees, but school is also out of heating.

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A young boy from Yunnan has attracted the attention of Weibo’s netizens this week for his ‘icy looks’ after walking to school in -9 degrees Celsius.

The boy is from Xinjie Town in Ludian County Zhaotong, Yunnan Province, and has to walk a mountainous track to his school for 4,5 kilometers every day.

People’s Daily reports that a photo of the boy went viral on January 9 on Chinese social media, after the teacher sent it to the school’s headmaster.

It shows the third grader with frozen hair and eyebrows, and a red face. The school children in the back are laughing.

The school has not disclosed the boy’s name to protect his identity, but the principal did tell Chinese media:

The temperature was minus nine degrees that morning, and it was the first day of the finals exams. The temperature had dropped within half an hour, and his home was already far away, so when he arrived in the classroom his hair was covered in frost. It’s a cute kid and he made a funny face when he came to the classroom, making his classmates laugh..”

The school also confirmed that the boy’s parents are laborers who work away from home, and that the boy lives together with his brother and sister as so-called “left-behind children” (留守儿童).

The area around Ludian county is relatively poor. In 2014, the area was hit by 6.5-magnitude earthquake, killing more than 600 people and destroying about 80,000 homes

The phenomenon of China’s “left-behind children” are a result of the country’s rapid urbanization, as people leave the countryside to find work in the cities. Having no means to look after their children while parents are working in urban areas, they often choose to leave their children in the countryside, where other family members can take care of them.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission released a report in 2015 estimating that there are more than 61 million left-behind children in China.

Another result of China’s urbanization is that smaller rural schools are closing their doors. Last year, the story of one teacher who kept a school open for two remaining students also became trending on Weibo.

The principal of ‘ice boy’s’ school also told a People’s Daily reporter that there currently is no heating at their school, but that they are doing all they can to arrange a heating system.

On Weibo, many netizens are concerned about the ‘ice boy’ (#冰花男孩#) and his fellow students and are offering to donate money, clothes, or other items to support the school.

By Manya Koetse

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.

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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

4-Year-Old Girl Struck and Killed by Car on Shenzhen Pedestrian Crossing

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A 4-year-old girl lost her life in a pedestrian crossing incident that happened within a matter of seconds.

A terrible fatal incident that was caught on security cameras is receiving much attention on Chinese social media today.

The incident happened at a pedestrian crossing in Shenzhen on December 1st. A woman and a 4-year-old girl were crossing the road while a car was approaching.

Although the woman signals the car, the driver does not slow down for the pedestrian crossing. Within seconds, the little girl is hit and crushed by the vehicle.

The 4-year-old was rushed to the hospital, but tragically did not survive.

The security footage below shows the incident (warning that viewer discretion is advised).

According to Shenzhen police, the driver of the car was not paying attention to the road when the crash occurred. It concerns an inexperienced driver who had only obtained their driver’s license five months ago.

People’s Daily reports that, according to the driver’s statement, they were paying attention to the electric bicycle in front of the car, and did not notice the pedestrians crossing the road.

On Weibo, not everyone believes this story though, with one popular comment saying that it was a case of “killing someone on purpose.”

Some comment that the bright lights of the vehicle coming from the other side might have impaired the driver’s vision.

Others questioned the woman’s actions: “Is she crazy? Why would you still cross the road when you see that the car is not slowing down?”

In online discussions on who is to blame for this incident, there are many who think the “mother” [it has not been disclosed if the woman was actually the child’s mother] was “irresponsible.” “You cannot let your own safety fully depend on whether or not the driver is paying attention.”

Traffic safety is a recurring topic on Chinese social media. Around 200,000 people lose their lives every year due to road traffic crashes.

At time of writing, the hashtag “Little girl is crushed to death on pedestrian crossing” (#女童过斑马线被碾压致死#) has received more than 170 million views on Weibo.

“What’s the use in discussing [who’s responsible]?”, others say: “A little girl has lost her life!”

By Manya Koetse

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

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China Local News

‘Yueqing Boy’ Mother Falsely Reports Son as Missing to Test Husband’s Devotion

After five days of searching and drawing the attention of millions of people, the story ended with a twist.

Gabi Verberg

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The case of the 11-year-old “Yueqing Boy,” who allegedly went missing on the last day of November, attracted much attention online, and ended with a twist earlier this week. The mother of the “missing boy” had been hiding her son for five days after having a dispute with her husband.

In the early morning of the 5th of December, the Yueqing Public Security Bureau released a notice on Weibo stating that the “Yueqing Missing Boy” – real name Huang Zhengbao (黄政豪) -, whose missing had attracted the attention of millions, was found in good health.

According to the China Daily, the mother who had reported her son missing on the 30th of November had deliberately filed a false report. She hid her son in another house near their home and deceived her husband in making him believe their son was missing. All in an attempt to test how much he cared.

On the day that the boy allegedly did not return home from school, the parents had reported him missing at the local police station of Yueqing in the city of Wenzhou. In reality, the mother of the boy had met up with her son earlier that day when he was on his way home from school. She had ordered her son to wait in an arranged car on a parking lot, handed her son the keys of the car and some food, and went off.

Later, the mother reportedly came back and transferred her son to a house near the place they lived. He stayed in the house until the police found him.


Photo of the house where the boy was hidden.

The case of the missing boy attracted nationwide attention last week. A large-scale search operation was set up in Wenzhou. The police asked citizens to report any clues and forward information about the missing boy.

Netizens also came into action for the missing boy. The hashtag “11-year-old boy from Wenzhou missing for five days” (#温州11岁男孩失联5天#) received over 330 million views on Weibo. Many people forwarded information about the boy and expressed their sympathy for the family.

After the news spread that the whole incident was set up, Weibo users reacted with mixed feelings in the comment section of the Yueqing Police Official Weibo account. Many expressed their disbelieve about the mother’s actions, criticizing her for wasting so much of people’s time, efforts and money. But there were also those who were simply relieved the boy was found to be safe.

Timeline of events

The case started on the 30th of November when the 11-year-old boy did not return from school. As stated by the boy’s parents, the mother went to the bus station to wait for her son to get off the bus. When the boy had still not returned an hour later, both parents asked the Yueqing police for help.

According to China Daily, the Yueqing Public Welfare bureau launched a large-scale search operation that same night.

Social media was involved when the police asked people to forward news of the missing boy on channels such as Weibo and WeChat. They also mobilized as many volunteers as possible to help in the search.

On December 2nd, many Wenzhou people and netizens were shocked when the news came that the boy might have drowned in a small local river. A special search dog, employed to look for the boy, had given three signals at a river bank. Reason enough for the special search units to start looking for the boy’s body in the water. The footage of rescue teams combing out the river made their rounds online. However, after hours of searching, there was still no sign of the boy.

On the 4th of December, according to sources, the boys’ father announced that he would reward the person who could bring his boy home with 200,000 yuan (±$25,690). One hour later, the desperate father spread a video message online, in which he raised the reward to 500,000 yuan (±$64.240).

News of the missing went viral when Zhejiang media reported about the case, with millions of people instantly forwarding their posts.

On the 5th of December, the search for the boy came to an end when the Yueqing Public Security Bureau released a notice on Weibo, announcing that a family member of the boy deliberately falsely reported the boy missing. Huang Zhenghao was kept in good health and safety in a house, nearby the family’s home.

Various Chinese media reported that the boy’s mother and father were experiencing some troubles in their marriage, and that the mother had let the father to believe their son was missing to “test how much he cared.”

The mother was arrested for intentionally spreading false information, and has now been taken into custody. The police are further investigating the case.

Despite the mother’s arrest, the family of the boy expressed their sincerest gratitude to all the people who helped in search of Huang Zhengbao. In an interview with the uncle of the boy, he says that the boy is all right and went home with his father to have a good rest.

By Gabi Verberg, with contributions by Miranda Barnes.

All images via Baijiahao.

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

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What’s on Weibo provides social, cultural & historical insights into an ever-changing China. What’s on Weibo sheds light on China’s digital media landscape and brings the story behind the hashtag. This independent news site is managed by sinologist Manya Koetse. Contact info@whatsonweibo.com. ©2014-2018

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