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.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Agency
External source
Advertising

Eastern Cape schools to only open for grades 3, 6...

The province says the increase in Covid-19 cases has made it re-evaluate some decisions

Malawi celebrates independence day, but the first president left his...

The historical record shows that Malawi’s difficulties under Hastings Banda were evident at the very moment of the country’s founding

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku’s first rule: Don’t panic

As Gauteng braces for its Covid-19 peak, the province’s MEC for health, Bandile Masuku, is putting his training to the test as he leads efforts to tackle the impending public health crisis
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday