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Hawker in hospital after drinking ‘very spicy chilli oil’ on live video to boost his business

A hawker in southwestern China has been hospitalised after live-streaming himself downing hot chilli oil.

Huang Lijun, 20, was trying to draw more customers to buy the roasted rabbits that he sells for a living in Neijiang, Sichuan province, the Chengdu Economic Daily reported.

Huang first streamed a live video online of himself downing two teaspoons of “extremely spicy” chilli oil made from a pepper locally grown in Neijiang.

The video drew 6,000 views within just 10 minutes of the clip being uploaded, but was deleted by the Chinese video streaming website shortly after, according to the newspaper.

Upset about the deletion, Huang decided to live-stream another video of himself, this time drinking a glass of sesame oil. The video was blocked by the site as well, the report said.

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Five days after performing his online stunts, Huang sought medical attention for difficulty even in “swallowing saliva”.

He was hospitalised and diagnosed with severe tonsilitis and abscess in his throat.

The report quoted his doctor as saying he could have suffocated if he had waited just one more day to seek medical help.

Huang has uploaded more than 200 videos on the live-streaming website, most of them related to selling roasted rabbits. He was hoping to draw more customers to buy from him, the report said.

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The hawker said a few hundred people among his 23,000 followers on the website had bought his roasted rabbits after watching his videos online.

Live-streaming websites have in recent years gained popularity as a unique business promotion platform in China.