The 26-year-old man known as the “Chinese Superman” tried to push his boundaries once too often, dying from a plunge from the roof of a 62-story skyscraper where he was hanging to do pull-ups.
According to the South China Morning Post, Wu Yongning was trying to win a $15,000 prize in a rooftopping challenge — allegedly to pay for a coming wedding and to cover medical costs for his mother — when he fell to his death. His step-uncle, Feng Shengliang, said, “He planned to propose to his girlfriend. He needed the money for the wedding, and for medical treatment for his ailing mother.”
Video of Wu’s death on November 8 shows him wiping down the ledge, then swinging his legs off the building and practicing hanging off the edge. He then climbs back up to prepare for another attempt. On his second attempt, he completes three pull-ups but then tries to pull himself back up. But he cannot get any footing; after hanging for roughly 15 seconds, he plunges to his death.
Wu’s death was unknown, despite the absence of his online video series, until his girlfriend posted about it on social media. He had over 1 million followers on social media, prompting Chinese state media to call for stricter regulations on live-streaming.
The China Daily News said Wu’s death was precipitated by the adulation he received on social media for his daredevil stunts involving scaling tall buildings without protective gear or safety harnesses. It stated:
From his interactions with his audience, it seems he really enjoyed the attention. But with all the likes and comments, he overestimated his own abilities and finally lost his life because of that feeling. Had Wu not been so popular on live-streaming apps, he might not have died …More sources show he was on several live-streaming apps and he got many likes, too. His death should remind us to strengthen supervision over live-streaming apps. Some of them try to hype things up with obscene and dangerous things, and their purpose is to attract more eyeballs and make a profit. It is time we ended this.
Wu posted videos of himself on Weibo doing stunts such as lying down at the top of a skyscraper or tiptoeing on the edge of bridge scaffolding, capturing his adventures with a selfie stick in hand.
According to Sina.com, Wu was trained in martial arts and worked as an extra in the film industry.
Warning: graphic video below: