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Chinese Media Irritates Chinese Students At USC

Chenyi Ye (Bella) |
April 12, 2012 | 4:32 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Memorial vigil for USC students (Photo by Gracie Zheng)
Memorial vigil for USC students (Photo by Gracie Zheng)


Just a few hours after the gunshots took place, an atmosphere of mourning covered the USC University Park Campus as students gathered for a vigil, remembering the two Chinese graduate students who were killed Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, several Chinese media irritated international students in the U.S.—especially fellow Trojans—with distorted reports of the incident.  

On well-known Chinese websites such as “qq.com” and “163.com”, the story's title read “In Los Angeles, Two Chinese students were killed in a BMW.”

The reporter continued to remind readers of the BMW's importance to the story, stating that the BMW car was a brand new car worth $60,000. However, the BMW was later discovered to be a 2003 model that the male victim bought for about $10,000, reported The LA Times.

Because of the “$60,000 BMW" claim, the two students were criticized by multiple Chinese media outlets as being among the “second generation of the rich”—which carries with it a negative connotation in China. The characterization refers to kids from rich families who do not study or work, choosing instead to take advantage of their family background and spend money. Contrary to the stigma, the two victims were described by their classmates as being hardworking students who saved money instead of spending loosely.

Several Chinese media reporters not only offended the victims with misinformed labels, but some Internet users also gloated over the story, leaving malicious comments:“Good job of killing them, kill more ‘2nd generation of the rich’”; “Highly celebrate the death of the rich kids in American!!!!”; “Driving BMW, not worth sympathy.”

A number of USC Chinese students said they felt a huge betrayal by their country and are extremely disappointed by the comments made.

“The reporters distort the truth and possess the stereotype of “2nd generation of the rich” on Chinese students who study abroad,” said Yujiao Xian, a freshman at USC.

Another USC freshman shared the same sentiments.

“The media only pictures that we party or have fun, but they do not see us working hard in order to pursue a better future," said Clement Huang.

A family friend of the female victim Ying Wu requested that the media reporters in attendance at Wednesday's memorial follow moral guidelines and only report the facts.

The 163.com website has since fixed its headline and the inaccurate details after receiving requests from the public while qq.com's comments remained unchanged.



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Reach Staff Reporter Chenyi Ye (Bella) here.



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