Who Was Brother Huang? Chinese Influencer Becomes the Second to Die after Livestreaming Binge-Drinking Challenge

The two influencers knew one another, and Huang had reportedly made a promise to abstain from alcohol at Wang's funeral.

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A Chinese influencer has become the second to die from binge-drinking alcohol. Brother Huang, popularly known as Zhong Yuan Huang Ge to his 176,000 social media fans, died last week from excessive alcohol consumption while he was live-streaming a drinking challenge. Huang's death was confirmed by his wife on the Chinese news website Jimu News on Tuesday.

His wife said that Huang, 27, was trying to earn money by taking up life-threatening challenges to pay off debts, Asia's Straits Times reported. During one such challenge, the social media influencer reportedly drank too much baijiu and died. The incident happened on June 2.

Life-Threatening Challenge

Zhong Yuan Huang Ge
Zhong Yuan Huang Ge or Brother Wuang livestreaming his binge-drinking of Chinese firewater baijiu Twitter

Colloquially known as "Chinese firewater," the typically sorghum-based spirit has an alcohol concentration that ranges from 35% to 60%. In videos posted to his since-deleted account, Huang was seen swilling alcohol, smoking tissues drenched in alcohol, and flaunting pyramids made of empty bottles.

His wife, Li, claimed that Huang had been working hard to pay off a significant debt he racked up before their marriage, one that totaled hundreds of thousands of yuan.

According to a video of the room that a relative of Huang's posted online, the Chinese proverbs "money is more important than life" and "life is not all about money, but you will need money to live the life you want," among others, were written on the wall of Huang's room, the Strait Times reported.

Huang had just constructed a new house in the hamlet this year, and the couple had intended to earn money to remodel it after sending their son to kindergarten this year.

Zhong Yuan Huang Ge
Brother Huang was found dead hours after he finished his livestreaming Twitter

Li, who has a child with the deceased influencer, has promised to work for the rest of her life to make up for the deficit.

This is the second incident in the past month after another popular livestreamer Brother Three Thousand, 34, was found dead shortly after he was seen drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on Douyin, China's equivalent of TikTok.

Playing with Life

Brother Three Thousand, whose last name was confirmed to be Wang, consumed at least seven bottles of baijiu during a livestream before being found dead 12 hours later on May 16, according to Chinese media.

Video clip showed Brother Huang had stocked hundreds of bottles of Baijiu before taking up the fatal challenge Twitter

According to the local media outlet Southern Metropolis Daily, the two influencers knew one another, and Huang had reportedly made a promise to abstain from alcohol at Wang's funeral.

Baijiu contains up to 60% alcohol. The Chinese drink was frequently consumed by Huang and Wang when he was broadcasting.

Some influencers believe that posting risky exploits online will boost their likelihood of earning money from their following.

In a video posted to social media, which went viral, Wang was seen drinking multiple bottles of baijiu liquor and dumping some out to light it on fire on the table.

Wang's death sparked heated online debate in China and prompted demands for tighter controls on the country's burgeoning livestreaming industry. The influencer competed in four one-on-one matches with influencers on May 16 in a bid to collect the most fan gifts in the shortest amount of time.

Brother Three Thousand
Brother Three Thousand was the first Chinese influencer to die last month after taking up a similar binge-drinking challenge Twitter

He lost three rounds and as punishment drank baijiu, according to viewers. According to reports, he drank at least seven bottles of baijiu that evening. Wang ended his livestreaming after midnight.

The following afternoon, he was found dead, his friend said.

Brother Three Thousand
Brother Three Thousand seen taking up the binge-drinking challenge Twitter

"When his family found him, he was already gone," a man identified only as "Mr. Zhao" told Shangyou News. "He didn't even get a chance for emergency treatment."

Earlier this year, a teenager died after taking the "Benadryl challenge," while in 2022, a group of Indonesian teenagers pulled the "angel of death" stunt by jumping in front of moving cars.