Overseas Chinese Students Shot Dead at USC, Netizen Reactions

Los Angeles police sealing off the scene of a shooting where two overseas Chinese students were shot dead in their BMW.

Los Angeles police sealing off the scene of a shooting where two overseas Chinese students were shot dead in their BMW.

The most discussed news article on NetEase today, accumulating nearly 300 pages of comments by Chinese netizens (both within and outside of China) over the day…

From NetEase:

April 11th morning, a shooting occurred near the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, United States, where two Chinese overseas students were shot dead. According to reports, the two study-abroad students were a male and a female, attacked while in a BMW. The car has multiple bullet holes, the driver’s side glass window shattered. Police say this may have been a carjacking incident, that the gunman is a male, but have not yet disclosed the criminal suspect’s appearance or description.

[Note: See our earlier report including translated overseas Chinese students in America reactions]

People walking past the scene of a fatal shooting on Raymond Ave., in Los Angeles near USC.

April 11th local time, people walking past the area where two Chinese overseas student were shot dead.

USC student leaving flowers at the site where two study abroad Chinese students were shot dead.

USC student Wu Di (transliteration) leaving flowers for the Chinese overseas students who were shot dead.

USC students leaving flowers at the site where two study abroad Chinese students were shot dead.

USC students leaving flowers for the two Chinese overseas student victims.

Blood still remains on the door knob from a Chinese student looking for help after being shot.

Photo is of the scene of the incident, 2717 Raymond Ave near USC in Los Angeles where the door handle still has bloodstains from when the male student was crying for help. Source: Chinese News Service, photographer Mao JianJun.

Comments from NetEase:

eworm88 [网易上海市嘉定区网友]:

Sofa… highlight of the news, the BMW… Life is precious, so young, what a pity…

舞矛特派员 [网易乌干达网友]: (responding to above)

In America, a BMW is not as out of reach as it is in China.

网易广东省清远市网友: (responding to above)

But the family of a 20-year-old Chinese person able to go to America to drive a BMW has power that is indeed out of reach.

网易山东省济南市手机网友: (responding to above)

Let’s pray they were the children of government officials!

vansky163 [网易加拿大网友]: (responding to 舞矛特派员)

For overseas students, if their parents are just ordinary commoners, they couldn’t afford [a BMW] even if they’re working part-time and going to school part-time, nor would they buy one, because there are even cheaper cars to choose from.

网易美国网友: (responding to above)

[Above], it depends on how you define ordinary commoners then. You’re in Canada so you too should know that a BMW 3 series isn’t some exorbitantly expensive car. A 2012 new model is just over 30,000 USD, which converted to RMB is just around 200,000, and there are plenty of 200,000 RMB cars in China, very common. For many families in first or second tier cities in China, 200,000 for a car isn’t unaffordable. As such, why not let one’s own child buy a BMW? What more, you don’t know if this car is new or second-hand. Who knows, it might be second-hand, just over 10,000 dollars. Or maybe the owner bought it with a loan, and is still paying back the “mortgage”. Who knows, the student may even be leasing the car. A brand new BMW 3 series 30-month lease contract is only 300 dollars each month, plus full insurance coverage which is no more than 300, and I bet it only costs 600 dollars to have this BMW, which can be afforded with part-time work and part-time study… Of course, you say there are even cheaper options, this is true, but, you can’t deny another person’s right to buy a BMW just because there are even cheaper options… BMWs and Benzes in America really aren’t a big deal… both having become very common [attainable for the common masses].

caesarpiero [网易英国网友]: (responding to 舞矛特派员)

This is indeed true, in England my friend bought a second-hand BMW for 50,000 RMB. Actually, public transportation is not very developed abroad, and sometimes not having a car is like being crippled. Car here aren’t priced so ridiculously like they are in China, so why not buy one?

708878682 关注 关注TA的微博 708878682 [网易美国网友]:

As a representative of the victim’s friends at USC, with extreme grief and and extreme anger towards the media’s untruthful reports, I make the following clarifications with regards to the untruthful reports about the victim’s circumstances currently on the internet and by a media that ignores its professional ethics:

1. In the two years the two victims have been at USC, they have always lived frugally, every semester each renting apartments with other roommates, sharing bedrooms, to save on rent. What more, in order to save as much as possible on rent, the girl even chose to live in the relatively unsafe west side of campus.

2. The two victims have been in America for already nearly two years, without buying a car. This semester, because it was needed for the coming graduation and job hunting, the male victime spent 10,000 USD at a used-car dealership to buy a second-hand 2003 BMW with 80,000 miles on it. The reason why this car is being mistaken as a new car is because the victim had not yet received his formal license plates, and is still using the dealership’s temporary advertisement license plates. The female victim has never bought a car.

3. The time the tragedy occurred was 1am in the morning of 2012 April 11th. At the time, the female victim had just finished her experiment in the school’s laboratory, and they were killed after the male drove her home.

As a representative of the all the friends of the victims, I hereby earnest request that all Chinese compatriots will boycott rumors and provide clarifications to those who don’t know the facts and have been misled by rumors.

They have passed away, don’t let untruthful rumors further hurt the victims and their loved ones.

九十把刀 [网易美国网友]:

南加州是华人富二代集聚的学校。不管怎么样,为死去的同胞默哀!”>USC is a school where the children of rich Chinese gather. Nevertheless, a moment of silence for a departed compatriot [fellow Chinese].

三权并力 [网易美国网友]: (responding to above)

USC was already a gathering place for Taiwanese people long ago, well-known as a school that sells diplomas for a high price.

lsfgz [网易广东省惠州市手机网友]:

Car-jacking? The car was riddled with bullets, how could it be a car-jacking?

仁义廉耻 [网易英国网友]: 2012-04-12 08:22:25 发表

Very upset with the news headlines! The first half of the titles are the death, and the second half is Chinese people’s ever-present competitive/envious mentality, as if human life in the news worker’s eyes are just tools to get attention. Why did the writer have to point out “BMW”? Could he not have just calmly written “died in a car”? Had to use “inside a BMW” to attract eyeballs, was the first half about young people passing away not enough to make people sad? In the face of tragedy, excessive publicizing will only make human vanity even uglier.

The shameful vanity of regarding what is an ordinary thing as a treasure can only be spurned before life.
R.I.P. for young lives!

金嗓子猴宝 [网易美国网友]:

Chinese study abroad students at USC are increasing, the school is afraid of the good and bad people mixing. 2009/10/03

带涛抢剑 [网易浙江省金华市网友]:

20 years old, in the most best part of their lives…


NetEase is quite fast, news we just saw 2 hours ago has already reached the front page… A rare opportunity to sit on the sofa [he was unsuccessful], those who ding me will become rich…
It’s said that there are more and more Chinese students in America, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, our reputation all ruined by those garbage, and American diplomas will no longer be worth much in the future… Lastly, I also want to express some condolences, the poor students…

tousuhuipubi [网易浙江省金华市网友]:

Children of the rich and powerful who make a scene in China go to American and are killed by black people. America’s black people love robbing Asians the most.

未来谁保佑 [网易河南省洛阳市网友]:

Only when China becomes strong and powerful will our countrymen have respect abroad. If one day China were to develop to how it was during the late-Qing Dynasty, Chinese people will be discriminated against no matter what country they’re in.


American police do not care about foreign student safety at all, the police do not attach importance to it whatsoever!

跑锋打法 [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

Hehe, BMW, back then in Seattle I saw a Mexican who washed dishes at a Chinese restaurant driving a Mercedes Benz. American imperialists are a people on wheels, where buying a car is like buying a bicycle in China, where 3 or 4 thousand USD is enough to buy a decent one. Two different worlds, can’t be compared…

我就是我的祖国 [网易加拿大网友]:

The United States is becoming more and more like Mexico. Everyone should come to Canada instead, even though you can’t find anyone here who speaks English.

patocp [网易美国网友]:

These days, the kids coming from the mainland, who are only undergraduate age, either buy BMWs or Benzes.
Is that necessary? Even though cars in America are cheap, its still not necessary. I think those kids who go work in supermarkets to help pay for a portion of their tuition are even more deserving of people’s admiration.

网易美国手机网友: (responding to above)

They were graduate students. Please, you’re in America, go look at the first-hand American reports, okay?

Work covering a meal is already good enough, but tuition? You’re dreaming. What more, foreign students can only work on campus.

slovic [网易比利时网友]:

If it isn’t blacks then it was Mexicans!


Amongst the 2500 [Reports said 1/3 of the students, or 2500 students, at USC are from China] people, just how many are the sons and daughters of Chinese government officials!?

网易加拿大手机网友: (responding to above)

Right now it’s night in China, wait a while and all the haters will be going to work and this place will become lively.


China raises people, who go abroad for study, or emigrate abroad. Those who come back, become sea turtle returnees, their social status 100x higher.


If they’re the children of government officials, they hurry and die. The more that dies, the better. If they’re ordinary commoners, then a moment of silence.

4388473ksks [网易广东省深圳市网友]:

It isn’t that irrational, China’s children of government officials and the rich are indeed obnoxious, and with so many Chinese people going abroad, most of them aren’t anything good, all going abroad after getting enough money. That’s why our countrymen aren’t very fond of you so-called foreign-nationality Chinese. And that air of superiority you guys give off is even more obnoxious.

干你妹妹 [网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友]:

Ding the above! Hahaha! So good that they died!!!! Oh yeah!~~~~ Oh yeah~~~~ Oh yeah~~~~ Let some more overseas students die, let some more Americna running dogs who emigrated to America die! This news is great news for everyone!


Well-killed! Must prevent these heartless rich corrupt government officials who live off of the people and cheat the people from continuing their family lines!

豁达天空的飞翔 [网易美国网友]:

Some people, who can’t get something themselves, who haven’t experienced something themselves, just talk shit. They were 20-year-old graduates, could you have done it? You think American graduate schools are easy to get into? You think they’re the same as China’s universities??? What do you guys know about this American school?
People who haven’t experienced anything, have never even exited the country’s borders are here criticizing others, truly laughable…
First time I’ve seen Chinese people cheer on other Chinese people’s deaths, how is this country supposed to become rich and powerful????

sunjian622 [网易江苏省南京市网友]:

Hehe, those who go abroad for graduate school are mostly those who had to spend money to go because they couldn’t get in [to a graduate school] domestically in China. The families I know of are all like this. Their university scores very average, then spending 200,000-1,000,000 RMB to go abroad, and after finishing their studies still having to come back, because you try to find work there but they don’t want you from the start, discriminating against you. Don’t think being abroad is so impressive, unless you have a father like Li Gang. Editor, if you delete this again, may your entire family die!!!!!!!

颜野池上 [网易湖北省武汉市网友]:

Garbage is garbage, thinking they don’t have to worry about anything because their fathers knows how to embezzle money, just wait until their fathers die, and I’ll see how cocky these garbage will be then!!! Good riddance!!

网易美国网友: (responding to above)

These are study abroad students! Doesn’t matter how they got out of the country, they’re going there to learn! They’re not criminals! They’re fucking just like us living a life they have the right to live! Don’t you know how to give the dead a little respect? Do you not have any humanity?!

独沉醉 [网易广东省广州市网友]: (responding to above)

I hate these goody-goodies who can’t distinguish right from wrong, have you guys never seen the cocky so-pleased-with-themselves faces of these study abroad students? Have you guys never thought about why people hate the rich? There is no loving without reason, but there is even less hating without reason.

为看评论而来 [网易上海市网友]:

They’re able to go abroad to student, who cares if they are the children of government officials or of the rich, if you can get out then get out. Those people cursing others, what’s the point? Isn’t it ultimately just envy, jealously, and hate…hating the fact that your own parents didn’t send you abroad! Some people should also stop pretending to noble. If your own family had the ability, would you not go abroad? What their parents do is none of anyone else’s business. If you have the ability, then send you own children abroad, you guys with your dark hearts.

gongchangyanwu [网易山西省晋城市网友]: (responding to above)

Fuck you little Shanghainese man, your wife is calling you home to wash the dishes!


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.