Chinese social media users are abuzz after a camera caught a reporter’s candid moment at a government event.
The footage captured reporter Liang Xiangyi ― who works for Yicai, China’s largest financial media conglomerate ― rolling her eyes as another reporter, Zhang Huijun, asks a question during a convening of the National People’s Congress.
While these press conferences are typically heavily scripted and choreographed, often peppered with questions meant to spotlight the government’s achievements, the eyeroll wasn’t.
Just moments after the eyeroll aired, Chinese netizens flooded social media platforms like Weibo and Sina to discuss it. Viewers said they appreciated Liang’s honesty during the press conference, which many described as a dry event, while others laughed at the reporter’s unfiltered facial expressions.
Social media users even came out with GIFs and parodies of the moment:
Zhang, the reporter who asked the question, works for American Multimedia Television USA, a California-based outlet that appears to have a relationship with Chinese state-run media outlet China Central Television. Her question was directed at government official Xiao Yaqing, and partly involved what his plans were for 2018 and what he would do to protect Chinese state-owned enterprises.
Netizens said the question was so long that it resembled a speech and likely prompted Liang’s eyeroll.
The Communist Party quickly made moves to censor Liang’s name on social media, and rumors have been swirling that she has been suspended from her position. However, Liang’s employment status has not been confirmed, and Yicai hasn’t released a statement on the incident.