- A Chinese influencer’s ashes were reportedly almost sold for a “ghost marriage” after she died.
- She reportedly went by the handle “Luoxiaomaomaozi” and had 678,000 followers on Douyin.
- A “ghost marriage” is a tradition where the spirits of dead people are married.
A Chinese influencer’s ashes were reportedly stolen with the intent of having a “ghost marriage” after she died from consuming pesticide on a livestream, according to Chinese media outlets.
The woman, whose name Insider was unable to verify, went by the screen name “Luoxiaomaomaozi,” according to Vice. She died after drinking pesticide while livestreaming on the social media platform Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok. The influencer had expressed suicidal thoughts and some viewers encouraged her to drink the chemical substance, Vice reported, citing Chinese media reports.
She died on October 15 after emergency medical aid failed to help restore her health, her family reportedly confirmed with the Chinese newspaper the Paper, according to the Global Times.
In her last video to Douyin on October 14, she spoke about having depression and said this could be her last video, Vice reported. The influencer had amassed 678,000 followers and published 38 videos on Douyin before she died, according to the International Business Times.
A funeral home worker reportedly stole the influencer’s ashes after she was cremated and worked with two other funeral staff members to sell them, the Malay Mail reported. Her ashes could have sold for around 50,000 to 70,000 Chinese yuan, or roughly between $US7,820 ($AU10,869) and $US10,950 ($AU15,219), a source reportedly told the China state media outlet Beijing News, according to Vice.
According to the Global Times, the sellers almost pawned the ashes off to a buyer for the purpose of a “ghost marriage,” which is a Chinese tradition dating back 3,000 years that involves families trying to find partners for their dead children so their spirit can flourish and not feel lonely or uneasy in the afterlife, according to ABC News. The tradition has been illegal in China for decades but has made a resurgence with a new market of “ghost matchmaker” sellers appearing, ABC News reported.
The deal to sell the influencer’s ashes did not pan out and the three men suspected of stealing the ashes have been detailed by police, the Global Times reported.
In the aftermath of the incident, many people began to speak out on social media about the practice of “ghost marriages” and abuse toward women, according to Vice, which reported that the chat platform Weibo removed multiple popular hashtags associated with this influencer’s ghost marriage controversy.