Livestream Firm Fined Over Daredevils Skyscraper Death

Story ByMichael Leidig, Sub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyAsia Wire Report 

Video Credit: AsiaWire

A court has confirmed that a company offering a live-streaming service should take partial responsibility and pay compensation for the death of “China’s First Rooftopper” after he fell off a skyscraper.

Daredevil Wu Yongning, 26, had more than a million followers on a number of live-streaming apps and had uploaded 300 videos online of his stunts that involved climbing high buildings illegally and without safety equipment.

Video Credit: AsiaWire

He boasted about his martial arts training and careful planning but in the end, his hobby killed him when he fell to his death after scaling the 62-storey Huayuan International Centre in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province in Central China, during a broadcast in November 2017.

His fans had noted at the time that he had suddenly stopped posting new material, and the following month his girlfriend and his family members confirmed on 8th December that Wu had fallen to his death while recording a stunt

Video Credit: AsiaWire

He was in the process of creating his next viral video and was clinging to the side of the skyscraper when he appeared to lose his grip and fall, with his body said to be discovered by a window cleaner.

The clip that was shared online shows Wu lowering himself over the edge of the building to do his iconic pull-ups, but he struggles to hoist himself back up and eventually falls out of view of the camera phone he had set up to record his stunt.

Local authorities investigating the case described it as an “accident” and ruled out foul play, saying that Wu fell about 45 feet onto a terrace below and died of fatal injuries during or shortly after the accident.

The Beijing Internet Court had made a ruling in May that the live stream firm’s parent company Huajiao should bear “some responsibility” for the young man’s death and ordered compensation of 30,000 RMB to be paid to his family.

The dead man’s mother, He Xiaofei, had wanted 60,000 RMB and a public apology. Despite the reduced amount, the live-streaming company Mijing Hefeng filed an appeal but it was rejected with the original verdict reinforced that while the blogger was mainly to blame, the live stream company had played an “inducing and encouraging” role in his dangerous and illegal activities.

The dead man’s family said that in his last live stream he addressed his life because he wanted to win a 100,000 RMB bonus (11,284 GBP) that would have been payable if it went viral.

The roof toppers girlfriend, named only as “Jinjin”, said Huayuan International Centre was only open to the public until the 44th floor, after which key cards were required to access the Grand Hyatt hotel.

As security personnel were also present on the hotel’s top floor, she said she believes her boyfriend took a lift to “over 40 floors” and then free-climbed “nearly 20 more floors” to reach the position where he filmed.

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