Chinese reporter’s eye roll so epic, gets censored almost immediately

The authorities later revoked her media accreditation.

By Kayla Wong | March 14, 2018

It was the eye roll of the century, at least on the Chinese Internet.

When a reporter rolled her eyes with barely-concealed disgust at a fellow reporter’s fawning question on live TV during a staged doorstop at the Great Hall of the People, she broke the Internet.

The moment brought a rare juicy punctuation to an otherwise uneventful and monotonous event, and spread quickly across Chinese social media through GIFs and other online riffs.

However, as quickly as they appeared, they were deleted by government censors by the evening.

Epic eye-roll at fawning question

The reporter who became an overnight star on the internet is Liang Xiangyi of the financial news site Yicai.

She first began scoffing to herself,

GIF via Youtube

before sweeping her hair back and resting her chin on her fist.

GIF via Youtube

After frowning a little, she turned to look at the questioner with interest.

GIF via Youtube

She then proceeded to look her up and down,

GIF via Youtube

before rolling her eyes with such disgust that her head even followed her eyes.

GIF via Youtube

Her face then remained turned away from the questioner until she finished asking her ‘question’, as if she couldn’t stand being in the same space as her.

If you’re interested to know, here’s what the questioner asked as translated by the New York Times:

“The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic of universal concern. Therefore, as the director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, what new moves will you make in 2018?

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up Policy, and our country is going to further extend its openness to foreign countries. With General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi proposing the One Belt One Road Initiative, state-owned enterprises have increased investment to countries along the route of One Belt One Road, so how can the overseas assets of state-owned enterprises be effectively supervised to prevent loss of assets? What mechanisms have we introduced so far, and what’s the result of our supervision?

Please summarise for us, thank you.”

“The woman standing next to me was an idiot”

Screenshots of an alleged Yicai chat group later leaked online, with Liang talking to her colleague about the matter.

Image via What’s on Weibo


Colleague: Your eye-roll was broadcasted live. How cute.

Liang: ‘Cause the one standing next to me was an idiot.

Colleague: Hahahaha.

Liang: Just look at her. The questioner talking more than the one being questioned.

Eye-rolling memes

Here are some of the eye-rolling memes spawned from the dramatic eye-roll that would probably stick around for quite some time:

Image via What’s on Weibo
Image via What’s on Weibo

Liang became the everyday man’s hero

Interest among netizens towards Liang surged and her name became censored on Weibo, a popular microblogging platform in China.

Screenshot via Weibo

The phrase “question-asking bitch” was also blocked on Weibo searches.

Supporters flooded her Weibo page with jokes and comments of support, with some even doing re-creations of the incident.

Here are what some of them have to say, as quoted on South China Morning Post:

“Nicely done! You gave an eye-roll on our behalf!”

“I am clapping for your honesty! Such questions are annoying and do not have any meaning.”

Vendors had also begun selling T-shirts and cellphone cases bearing her image on Taobao, the freewheeling online marketplace, according to The New York Times.

However, Liang’s media accreditation to cover the National People’s Congress (NPC) was revoked, according to one of her colleagues.

Background of questioner questioned

According to What’s on Weibo, the incident prompted many netizens to further investigate the media channel the red-dress reporter, Zhang Huijun, works for.

Before asking the question, she had introduced herself as the operating director of American Multimedia Television USA (AMTV), a Los Angeles-based broadcaster that partnered with Chinese state-run television in the past.

However, some netizens pointed out that while AMTV’s website says that it has 5.6 million household reach and 18 million potential viewers in California, its viewer ratings and online fans seem to be quite low.

They also questioned Zhang’s apparent status as a “foreign journalist”.

One Weibo user wrote: “She pretends to come from outside, but she is actually an insider.”

You can watch her epic eye-roll here:

Top image via Youtube

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About Kayla Wong

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