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103 views • March 15, 2018

Chinese reporter in hot water for viral eye-roll

Tony Xu
A TV reporter's theatrical eye-roll during another journalist's question at a news conference stole the show this week during China's annual parliament session at the National People's Congress (NPC), exploding on Chinese social media before censors intervened. Liang Xiangyi, a TV reporter from financial news, stands next to Zhang Huijun, who was asking a 45-second question. She rolls her eyes multiple times, looks Zhang up and down and then turns away with another dismissive eye-roll. Televised nationwide, the incident was seen by millions and quickly spawned GIFs, video clips, and parodies across China's vibrant but tightly controlled social media sites before many of the postings were removed. Liang's name also became flagged by censors. 3. A COMMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA (Chinese): "She might think the question asked by the lady next to her is a very stupid and ignorant one" 5. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 21-YEAR-OLD BEIJING RESIDENT, ZHENG XINRUI, SAID: "I think (the reason) doesn't need to be explained, I think no one appreciates the original ones (journalist's questions), because they all sound the same, and there're no highlights. Although this one is a bit funny, it differs from the others." (REPORTER) "So they were all the same in the past?" "Yes." (REPORTER) "Why do you think this became popular?" "To be yourself." 7. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) 24-YEAR-OLD BEIJING RESIDENT, GUO KAI, SAID: "I think the lady is speaking out what she thinks, I think she is very brave and she deserves praise. Right? Thank you!" The management of financial news ordered Liang to immediately return to the office and explain her actions. Liang may lose her job for undermining Zhang's public image. There are rumors that Liang’s media license was revoked by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People's Republic of China (SAPPRFT) because her actions had caused an adverse effect on the annual parliament session. The journalist, Zhang Huijun, was a former reporter at CCTV. She currently works for AMTV, based in the United States. AMTV only has 134 followers on social media and is believed to be one of the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece media outlets outside of China. Credit: Reuters
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