Celebrated Chinese #livestreamer #WuYongning, who calls himself China's first unprotected high-altitude #extremechallenger is suspected having died due to an accidental fall after his girlfriend has confirmed his death on Weibo Friday. https://t.co/j9dZX3jdnm pic.twitter.com/VoXzYvJ4QO— China Plus News (@ChinaPlusNews) December 8, 2017
A man who became famous for scaling buildings and climbing rooftops sealed his own fate and fell to his death.
The Chinese social media star, Wu Yongning, was performing a stunt last month at the 62-story Huayuan Center in Hunan, China, when he plummeted from the building, according to Channel News Asia.
Yongning’s girlfriend alerted the authorities to his disappearance after he never returned home from going rooftopping on Nov. 8. He didn’t return her phone calls or her messages, which led her to, initially, believe he had been arrested.
The last person to see the 26-year-old alive was a window cleaner, who saw him climbing up to the top of the skyscraper. However, the moment he fell was captured on film by a camera he set up.
WARNING: Video contains shocking footage that may be unsuitable for some viewers.
Yongning’s family reportedly said that he was involved in a rooftopping challenge that promised 100,000 yuan, or $15,000, in reward money, which may have been why he was climbing the Huayuan Center.
“He planned to propose to his girlfriend [the day after the challenge],” said Yongning’s step-uncle Feng Shengliang. “He needed the money for the wedding, and for medical treatment for his ailing mother.”
Yongning made a career out of rooftopping after working as a film extra. He started posting his stunts on Weibo, which gained a lot of traction and reportedly earned him more than 1 million followers on the platform.
He posted 301 videos from the tops of various buildings throughout China and used the money from being a daredevil to buy cellphones and appliances for his parents.
While his death is certainly tragic, he regularly took these risks to make money to support his family. This serves as an eyeopener to those who don't understand why anyone would pull these dangerous stunts in the first place.
Our first thoughts may be that gambling with your life for social media "likes" is silly, but it makes a bit more sense when those "likes" translate to money that your family really needs.
Nevertheless, Yongning’s legacy will live on in the countless gravity-defying stunts he successfully completed and shared with the world before his untimely death.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons, Huangdan2060