Lots of people play mobile games in China. The mobile game market has exploded in the last two years into a multimillion dollar industry. According to iResearch, in 2012, mobile games raked in a profit of $197 million in China, so it's almost baffling to hear something like a young man playing on a mobile device getting beaten up by villagers because they thought he was secretly photographing them.

Back in April, 26 year-old Huang Zhansheng was suddenly attacked by the locals of Pingxiang, Jiangsu province. Playing the highly popular Chinese card game, Fight the Landlord (斗地主), the villagers mistook Huang for a "social worker", thinking he was secretly documenting what they were doing with his smartphone, and pounced on the young man.

After a small altercation, the villagers called for help, and then proceeded to pummel Huang until he gave up his phone. After seeing that Huang was playing an online game, the villagers released him.

Returning home, Huang complained to his mother that his head hurt and he was feeling dizzy. The next morning his mother found Huang convulsing uncontrollably. Turns out Huang's beating had given him head trauma and a concussion.

Reporters following the case called the village chiefs to inquire why Huang was attacked. The village chief replied that they thought Huang was a social worker, and that he refused to cooperate and give up his phone for the villager's inspection. The chief also said that Huang had struck first, and then a villager hit him on the top of the head twice.


According to the police and the village, the villagers gathered the night of the incident to mediate the issue. They scrounged up 600 yuan (about $100) as compensation for Huang for having been unjustly beaten.
Of course the money didn't help at all—8 months and loads of checkups and treatment later Huang is still having health problems from his head trauma: he still convulses uncontrollably at times.

When Huang's story broke earlier this month, more reporters called to inquire why the village felt it necessary to beat up a young man playing a harmless video game (Fight the Landlord is a very harmless game!). It turns out that the village was so wary of government social workers visiting because they didn't want them to see if the villagers were congregating illegally or conducting events while circumventing the state.

Luckily for Huang, the village government owned up to the assault and are currently paying all of his medical expenses. The village government committee has currently paid out a total of $93000 towards Huang's medical care.


玩手机游戏被指"拍照" 一村民被人打成脑震荡 [Tencent]

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