Making headlines around the world is the heart-breaking story of two-year-old Wang Yue. On October 13, a truck and a van ran over Wang Yue in Foshan, Guangdong Province, while 18 people either walked or cycled past the toddler before a scrap peddler, Chen Xianmei, finally rescued her.
… The penniless scrap peddler rescued Wang Yue not because she was internally doing a cost-benefit analysis in her head or anticipating the material rewards of doing so (as some Chinese have accused her of doing), but because it was the right thing to do. So what’s happening right now to Chen Xianmei – the unwanted media attention, the unsolicited cash rewards, and public accusations of her being opportunistic – is itself just as tragic and as depressing as what happened to Wang Yue.
According to the Shanghaiist, the public attention has traumatized Chen Xianmei, and has prompted her to flee her home of Foshan:
‘Now with all of the media attention focused on her, as well as government officials and journalists knocking on her door night and day, Chen says she doesn’t even dare to turn on the television anymore.
‘“A lot of people are now saying that I’m doing it to get famous, and to get money. Even my neighbours are now saying so!” she said. “That really wasn’t my intention, and I’m so afraid of hearing what people are saying that I don’t dare to watch the news. I’m not out for fame or money.”’