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Social media star set on fire by ex-husband whilst streaming

A Chinese Tibetan social media star has died after her ex-husband doused her in petrol and set her on fire while she was recording a live-streaming show on Tiktok, or known as Douyin in China.

The man broke into the star’s home armed with a cleaver and a tank petrol before attacking her in front of her family members during mid-September, 2020.

The Tibetan social media influencer, known online as Lamu, sustained burns over 90% of her body and was left fighting for her life for more than two weeks in hospital. She was later pronounced dead by doctors.

Chinese police in the mountainous prefecture of Aba, located in western Sichuan province of China, have detained Lamu’s former husband, but his motives remain unclear to officials. Some reports from Chinese media suggested that the suspect was seeking revenge on Lamu because she had initiated their divorce due to domestic violence. The couple has two young sons.

Lamu had amassed more than 782,000 followers and 6.3million ‘likes’ before being assaulted. Some of Lamu’s videos documented her life in rural China. The majority of her videos showed her lip-syncing to songs she liked.

In the last video featuring Lamu, uploaded on September 14, she was performing to a traditional Tibetan song to express her best wishes to her fans. The star’s regular live broadcast suddenly had a black screen before her fans heard screams.

Police released a statement to confirm she was assaulted by her ex-husband, Tang, at around 8.50pm on September 14. She was rushed to the People’s Hospital in the Aba Prefecture and transferred to the People’s Hospital of the Sichuan Hospital on September 17 for better medical attention.

Her account did not have any activity for two days before Lamu’s sister, known as Zhuoma, posted about the attack. Zhuoma made a desperate plea for financial help and begged the public to help save Lamu. Good Samaritans donated around one million Chinese RMB ($149,000USD) to the family.

Lamu’s family said they had spent more than 60 per cent of the donations on her treatment and would return the rest of the money to the fund-raising platform.

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