Internet Is Obsessed With This Chinese Reporter's Eye-Roll. Just Watch

Evarado Alatorre
Marcha 14, 2018

Liang's image was plastered onto T-shirts and cellphone cases sold on Taobao, China's ever-reactive eBay equivalent.

China's censors are scrambling to put a lid on a social media frenzy unleashed by a journalist's reaction to a softball question during the mostly scripted annual parliament session. Liang Xiangyi was spotted giving a dramatic and exasperated eye-roll to a fellow journalist identified as Zhang Huijun from American Multimedia Television (AMTV) when she asked a question along with praise for the government.

Impeccably coiffed and sporting a bright blue suit jacket, Yicai financial news service reporter Liang Xiangyi sighed and raised a sceptical eyebrow at another journalist's query to a delegate at a National People's Congress press event Tuesday. She is then seen turning around to look at the reporter.

The videos were being deleted by the Chinese government en masse by the evening, with Ms Xiangyi's name becoming the most censored name on the popular social media platform, Weibo.

It was the eye roll that resonated with millions - and broke the internet in China.

"Sister, if you've lost your job", one fan told her, "you can always work in social media".

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The eye-roll was broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV) and filmed by many watching. In one video, three men recreated the incident with a deadpan expression.

Reporters from media outlets based overseas but with ties back to China's state media apparatus are often called on at government events so that Beijing can appear to cede the floor to "foreign" journalists - who will nonetheless toe the party line.

Lasting 44 seconds long (clip here), the question used an elevated tone that mostly answered itself, only asking the CCP minister for affirmation.

On messaging app WeChat, people were separating the two reporters into two parties, according to the colours of their clothing.

According to South China Morning Post, questions from reporters are normally screened and Zhang's question was picked. Liang's Yicai chat group was also leaked online.

"The transformation of the responsibility of supervision for state assets is a topic of universal concern". 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. Will you please explain this to all of us?

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