Chinese woman’s online snake purchase proves deadly

A Chinese woman who had hoped to make traditional snake wine died after being bitten by a venomous serpent which she ordered from an online shopping portal.

The 21-year-old woman in the northern province of Shaanxi died last Tuesday, eight days after being bitten by the many-banded krait, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

She had bought the snake on Zhuanzhuan, an e-commerce platform backed by Chinese internet heavyweight Tencent, from a seller in the southern province of Guangdong where the highly venomous reptile is endemic.

The snake had been delivered by a local courier company, which told Xinhua it did not know what was in the box.

The unidentified woman had planned to make a traditional medicinal wine, her mother told Xinhua.

So-called snake wine is typically made by infusing whole snakes in alcohol, with the resulting beverage said to have an invigorating effect.

Media reports said the reptile managed to escape afterwards, but local forestry officials later said it was found near the woman’s home.

Online platforms are banned from trading in wildlife and administrators quickly take down such postings.

But customers can turn to smaller platforms like Zhuanzhuan with less oversight.

E-commerce has boomed in China, led by major player like Alibaba’s Taobao platform which handle billions of dollars in orders for everything from everyday items to the bizarre.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

I’m ready to pass the baton – ANC spokesperson Pule...

Mabe has been at Luthuli House for some years but is now ready for a new chapter

Factory gate inflation surprises on the upside

The higher producer prices come after consumer inflation also bucked consensus expectations

In the black void of missing bodies

We cannot allow the mathematics of racial capital stop us from bearing ethical witness to the death of the marginalised majority

Zondo must lead to real change

He was horrified about what he learned of the ANC and government — and we should be too
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×