Entertainment & Arts

Chinese reporters photograph dead singer

Yao Beina Image copyright ALbum cover
Image caption Yao Beina had recorded Let It Go for the Chinese version of Disney hit Frozen

A local Chinese newspaper has apologised after secretly photographing late singer Yao Beina during surgery to donate her corneas following her death.

Three reporters from Shenzhen Evening News are accused of dressing as doctor's assistants to sneak into the temporary operating theatre.

Beina, who made her name in The Voice of China in 2013, died from breast cancer aged 33 on Friday.

The paper said all photos were deleted after complaints from her family.

"We sincerely apologise for the disturbance and discomfort we have caused to Yao's family, fans and net users," the Shenzhen Evening News published on popular Chinese social media site Sina Weibo.

According to CNN, the incident came to light when a now widely-shared post was published on Sina Weibo by microblogger Entertainment Whistleblower.

The post claimed three journalists had disguised themselves as medical workers to sneak into the morgue and take photographs of the late singer's body.

The paper admitted its reporters were in the room "without permission". However Chinese newspaper Global Times claimed the reporters had been forgiven by Beina's father.

Ethics debate

The event quickly sparked an online debate in China about journalism ethics, with Beina's manager Bo Ying accusing the paper of "having low morals".

One online comment called the reporters "vultures" adding: "They waited for Yao to die."

The paper caused more problems on Saturday when it put the singer's picture on the front page and said a fund in her name would be set up to help patients of eye disease.

However they were forced to withdraw the fund after the singer's company said it had never approved the project and was considering legal action against the paper.

"We demand that the Shenzhen Evening News and people responsible be punished," the company said.

Beina was well known for recording Let It Go in Mandarin for the Chinese version of Disney blockbuster Frozen.

She had her left breast removed in 2011 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, but the cancer returned recently.

Her illness and death were both big news in the country and her decision to donate her corneas has led to two people regaining their sight.

Related Topics