Famous WeChat Account for Females Shut Down over Vulgar Comments on Chinese Flight Attendant Murder

By M. Grace, May 15, 2018 20:05 PM

WeChat(36Kr)

A famous WeChat account for female users has been closed out after it was accused of posting vulgar comments related to the apparent sexual assault and killing of a Chinese flight attendant by a Didi Chuxing driver.

The flight attendant, surnamed Li, a 21 years old woman, used the ride-hailing app's "hitch" service on May 5 late evening to travel from the airport to a train station in Zhengzhou, Henan province. She was picked up by the 21 years old driver, Liu Zhenhua who, according to the police, drove her to a deserted place and killed her, before dumping her partially clothed body. Police found Li's body on May 8 but did not release the details of how she died.

Five people, including support police officer, were detained on Saturday for posting the crime scene online. Liu, the Didi driver, jumped to his death from a bridge within an hour of the killing, police authorities said.

The WeChat account Ergeng Shitang or "Late Night Canteen," which had an estimated 1 million active users, posted an article last Friday that was immediately removed due to flood of complaints from the users. It allegedly made disrespectful and indelicate comments about Li's death. Many netizens say that the post was inappropriate and insensitive.

Li Ming, CEO of the account, issued an apology shortly after the article was removed and blamed the poor editorial standards.

Zhejiang province's internet watchdog suspended the account for only a week and ordered the organization to clean up any harmful content. However, on Sunday, May 13, the parent company Ergeng Media announced that the WeChat account will be closing and that Li had been fired.

"We've made a painful mistake that has led to detrimental effects on society," Ding Feng, the founder of Ergeng Media, said in a statement. "I apologize again to the victim's family and the public. We're sorry for the mistake."

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