Chinese Woman Learns of Her Disappearance and Death Online

Chinese Woman Learns Online That She’s Been Dead for Over a Decade

A woman in South China sued an online memorial platform after stumbling upon her own obituary, which claimed that she had died tragically over a decade ago

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Hayley Zhao
4:38 PM HKT, Tue November 22, 2022 1 mins read

Earlier this month, RADII told you how some young people in China are commemorating the deceased online. Specifically, some Chinese youth are paying their respects to their dearly departed at a digital graveyard on the IMDb-like platform Douban.

The Chinese government has been encouraging online memorials over the traditional ritual of burning joss paper or ghost money (believed to be transferred to one’s loved ones in the afterlife). Not only is the latter detrimental to the environment, but it is also a fire hazard: many cemeteries were built near forests and mountains.

As such, more than one online platform designed for digital memorials has sprung up over the past few years.

However, the well-intentioned digital space also has its dark side, as Lulu from Xiamen, a port city on China’s southeastern coast, can tell you. Imagine the shock she felt when she recently stumbled upon her own online obituary.

Apparently, in 2016, someone created a digital mourning hall for her, complete with her name, date of birth, hometown, and 10 personal photos from the internet. According to the post, she had disappeared shortly after leaving campus one night in January 2010, and her barely recognizable body was discovered in the sea several days later.

Lulu understandably found the post extremely disturbing and was infuriated when she realized that it had been viewed around 43,000 times since it was created.

She immediately contacted the platform to have it removed and to discover the identity of the person behind the mean prank. However, the platform could not provide a name, as users weren’t required to register with their real identities back in 2016.

Lulu then sued the platform for infringing on her rights and reputation. According to the Shanghai Morning Post, a Chinese daily newspaper, the judge in the case sided with her. However, little else has been disclosed.

The case recently went viral on the Chinese internet, with a related hashtag garnering more than 320 million views on Weibo, China’s top microblogging site.

Cover image via Depositphotos

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