The tragic case of a rural livestreamer who died after being set alight by her ex-husband has triggered outrage over domestic violence on Chinese social media.
The 30-year-old woman, named Lamu (拉姆), died on Wednesday after efforts to save her life failed, according to a statement from police in Jinchuan County, in the remote northwest of Sichuan Province.
She had more than 885,000 followers on Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok — and regularly posted videos of her daily life foraging in the mountains, cooking and lipsyncing to songs dressed in traditional Tibetan clothing.
A police statement on Thursday confirmed earlier local media reports that she was doused in petrol and set alight at home by her ex-husband, surnamed Tang (唐), on Sept. 14.
Lamu suffered burns to 90 percent of her body, her sister told the Chengdu Commercial Daily.
Tang reportedly attacked her while she was livestreaming and had a history of domestic violence, local media said.
He was detained on suspicion of intentional homicide, police said.
Lamu’s fans had raised 1 million yuan (US$147,256) for her hospital treatment shortly after the attack, local media reported.
Tens of thousands of grieving followers left comments on her Douyin page, while millions of users on Sina Weibo demanded justice using the trending hashtags “Lamu case” and “Lamu died after being set on fire by her ex-husband,” which were later censored.
China only criminalized domestic violence in 2016, but the issue remains pervasive.
Activists are worried that a recent change to China’s civil code — which introduced a mandatory 30-day “cooling-off” period for couples wishing to divorce — might make it harder for victims to leave abusive marriages.
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