- A seemingly trivial moment during a media conference of the 13th National People’s Congress has shown that actions indeed speak louder than words after it incited a frenzy on social media.
During the conference on Tuesday (Mar 13), a female journalist inadvertently stole the limelight after making a disapproving glance at a fellow journalist, reported independent news site What’s on Weibo.
The episode – since dubbed as “The Lianghui Incident” – was broadcasted live and became widely shared on WeChat, China’s dominant messaging service.
A flurry of discussion soon erupted on social media sites like Weibo and an online vigilante manhunt to uncover who the journalists are and the underlying story.
The unimpressed journalist in blue was identified as Liang Xiangyi who works for Shanghai-based financial media outlet Yicai.com.
The reporter in red was revealed to be Zhang Huijun from US-based American Multimedia Television (AMTV) channel.
Apparently, Liang was fed up with Zhang for posing a long-winded question about China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
At a conference where journalists’ questions are expected to be succinct, Liang showed herself to be naturally exasperated and reacted by conspicuously rolling her eyes.
The incident resulted in the term “Question-Asking B*tch” to emerge on Chinese social media, making fun of self-important women in the media industry as well as “Lianghui Elegant Sister”, based on Zhang’s personal nickname on WeChat and Weibo.
Some social media users did not take the incident very well, especially those from Chinese media circles.
Guangzhou Daily staff member Dai Bin commented on Weibo: “This is a serious occasion and people have to pay attention to the time they use asking a question – after all, it’s the National People’s Congress. As for the woman who rolls her eyes, perhaps she is forgetting that she is being filmed, and forgot about her manners. May this be a lesson for her.”
Others took it more lightheartedly, with one commenter saying: “Today, these two beautiful women are breaking the internet! The red beauty reporter is asking an intelligent question, and the blue beauty looks charmingly stupefied! Such a difference between red and blue, which one do you like more?”
The viral sensation to an otherwise tedious and uneventful occasion quickly spawned dozens of memes.Some wasted no time to make parody videos like this one uploaded to YouTube by What’s on Weibo:Although “eye-rolling” became the day’s buzzword on Chinese social media, Liang’s name has become one of the most censored words by night.
Her personal Weibo page has also since been taken down.
Nevertheless, social media users still seem to be keeping the viral trend close to their hearts with some proclaiming Mar 13 to be an official Weibo “roll your eyes” day.