A popular Internet sensation from China has died performing one of his popular stunts. 26 year old Wu Yongning, often referred to as “Chinese Superman” garnered worldwide attention on the popular website by performing dangerous stunts with no safety equipment in place.
On November 8th, he fell to his death while attempting to do pull-ups from the side of a 62 story building in Changsha, which is the capital of China’s Hunan region.
He became a popular internet sensation as audiences wanted more and more of his videos depicting him scaling skyscrapers, or “rooftopping” With no harness or net. It was apparent but the way he interacted with his viewers that he loved the attention and adulation they gave him.
Yongning was a trained martial artist, and had also previously worked as an extra in the film industry. He took to rooftopping full-time, though, because it paid him much better and earned him adoring fans from all over the world.
An editorial in China Daily stated “ with all the likes and comments, he overestimated his own abilities and finally lost his life because of that feeling.” It went on to say, “Had Wu not been so popular on live-streaming apps, he might not have died.”
On the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo, Wu was always posting videos of himself in precarious situations, such as tiptoeing atop a bridge scaffolding, or lying down on top of a tall skyscraper. He used a selfie stick to provide video or livestreams of his feats.
Although he had been performing these dangerous stunts for his fans for some time, he always remained unscathed until that fateful day last month when he lost his life.
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Video of his final, deadly stunt has been making the rounds online. You can see Wu at the top of a building, wiping down the ledge he’s about to hang from. Then, he swings his legs off the building and tests his grip, hanging off the edge with elbows bent. A few seconds later, he climbs back up and steels himself for the next attempt.
When he goes over the side again, he does three pull-ups before the struggle begins. You can see that he cannot get traction with his feet on the side of the building, and he tries hard to regain it for about 15 seconds before his hands slip off of the ledge, and he falls.
The reason he chose to do such dangerous stunts was for a contest. He was attempting to win $15,000, which he was reportedly going to use to plan a wedding for him and his girlfriend, whom he had planned on proposing to two days later. He was also planning to help with some medical expenses for his mother, who has been ill.
The Chinese government has issued strong statements about wanting to crack down on the rules and regulations for live streaming apps, citing that they are only concerned with their profit and push for dangerous activities such as this to gain more followers, in turn, earning more revenue. They don’t take the lives of the people attempting these dangerous challenges into consideration. They don’t care that they are literally asking people to put their lives on the line for likes.
The editorial in China Daily stated “More sources show he was on several live-streaming apps and he got many likes, too,” and continued with “His death should remind us to strengthen supervision over live-streaming apps. Some of them try to hype things up with obscene and dangerous things, and their purpose is to attract more eyeballs and make a profit. It is time we ended this.”Also, “ With all the likes and comments, he overestimated his own abilities and finally lost his life because of that feeling.” It went on to say, “Had Wu not been so popular on live-streaming apps, he might not have died.”
Unfortunately, it is not just people who practice daredevil like activities that are at risk for this kind of thing happening. Selfie sticks and social media make it possible, and push people to capture amazing photos. There are people who go to the tops of buildings, mountains, and stand on the edges of cliffs or near dangerous things just to get a picture that will garner thousands of likes on Facebook or Instagram.
Wu isn’t he first to die from such activities, and he probably will not be the last. In October, a 44-year-old man fell to his death from atop the Chicago hotel.
Former rooftopper photog, Neil Ta penned a piece in 2014 Stating the reasons he was quitting. He said it used to be a fun activity for people to do, but did it became about who could take the most extreme photo, and it just got too dangerous.
Wu was admired by many and genuinely loved making his fans happy. His death took place last month, but was only confirmed last week by his girlfriend when she posted about it on social media.
H/T – Source