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Chinese man suffers serious burns after climbing on top a train and hitting a power line

A 22-year-old man was seriously injured after coming into contact with power lines after climbing on top of a stationary train in China’s Chongqing municipality.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 1:48pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 5:36pm

He climbed on top of a train and accidentally hit a power line. Why he did so has become the subject of contention in China’s internet space. 

A young Chinese man suffered serious electric burns after climbing on top of a train and coming into contact with power lines, mainland media reported on Monday.  

The 22-year-old was hurt in the accident, which occurred in China’s Chongqing municipality, and was sent to hospital, according to local news reports.

The Chongqing Evening News reported that the man, whose name was not mentioned in the reports, had done so in order to shoot a video for upload to Douyin, a short video sharing app popular among young Chinese. The Beijing Youth Daily, however, cited the man’s girlfriend as saying that he was a photographer trying to get a better angle for a shoot. 

The reported incident has dragged Douyin into the limelight. Known as Tik Tok outside China, the app has become the go-to short video site for China’s Generation Z. Douyin was launched as a music video platform and social network in September 2016 by the Beijing-based ByteDance, which also owns popular Chinese news app Jinri Toutiao and video social network app Musical.ly. ByteDance declined to comment on the report on Tuesday. 

Douyin’s popularity has skyrocketed in the past year. It provides powerful and easy-to-use editing tools that add catchy music and special effects to videos. Most users of Douyin are under 24 years old and live in tier-one cities like Beijing and tier-two cities, such as Harbin and Hefei. Tik Tok was also the most downloaded iPhone app in the world in the first quarter of 2018 – downloaded an estimated 45.8 million times – followed by YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook’s Messenger app and Instagram.

There has been criticism of the so-called eyeball economy, whose “cash for clips” business model prompted many broadcasters to do extreme things to garner attention. At the end of the 2017, a young Chinese climber who posts his daredevil exploits on various social media died while making a selfie video as part of a US$15,000 “roof-topping” dare.