A Brutal, Bloody Beatdown In Sanlitun Last Week [UPDATE]

UPDATE, 6/4, 12:13 pm: One of the men in the above video tells us about the incident after the jump.

We’ve reached out to the guys who shot the video – Canadians from WorldstarHipHop, as they make abundantly clear in the video — to see if we can get more info. It’s a nasty fight, if one can call it that, with a clear survivor. There are no winners.

“Someone pull him off,” someone says while the guy who’s standing, bloody all over, continues connecting on kicks to the defenseless man on the ground.

“It’s done, it’s done, you’ve won, you’ve won,” someone else says, beginning to sound desperate.

“Someone pull him off, guys, seriously,” one of the people behind the camera implores.

“No, who’s going to pull him off, he’s going to fucking attack you.”

The very last thing we hear in the video is: “Let’s get the fuck out of here, man, honestly. This is enough, bro.”


In the spring of 2008, I was sitting on the balcony of the bar Nanjie with a friend when we watched as two factions converged from opposite sides for a brawl; later, walking out of the area at dawn, we passed people carrying studded mallets heading the opposite direction. This was my first Sanlitun experience that year.

A few weeks later, friends and I were drinking outside in an alley near the bar Smugglers when an Algerian and another foreigner went mano-a-mano. This would be Sanlitun Experience No. 2. The Algerian threw his opponent onto a table, which I remember collapsing under his weight. Bloodied and reeling — drunk, probably — the manhandled foreigner picked himself up, grabbed a big beer bottle, and tapped it against the wall. We were confused by his tapping; it defused the situation, actually, but afterwards we thought on it: had he tried harder, or had the bottle hit at just the right angle, the man would have suddenly found a sharp weapon in his hand, and lord knows what drunk combatants, already injured, can do with makeshift knives.

In the years since — beginning a year or two ago — Sanlitun’s gentrification, spurred by the commercial developments around the “Village,” an upscale network of bars, restaurants and shops, began encroaching on the dingier bar streets and alleys. Several bars — shady ones, if I may say so, with names like Kai, Butterfly, and Shooters — in the Smugglers alley shuttered their doors, as that side is slated for renovation and eventual incorporation into a nearby middle/high school’s campus. Yet no matter what the changes, no matter how many bars in the area are given the Beijinger’s Bar of the Year award (two in the last two years), Sanlitun remains, at heart, the Sanlitun I first encountered in 2008, a recidivist’s lair that continues to attract society’s residuum after the rest of us have grown up or gone clean. For an example, look no further than the embedded video, which first appeared on YouTube four days ago WorldstarHipHop’s website on May 23, taken about forty meters from the beginning of the Smugglers alley.

If we hear anything more about this, we’ll update you here.

    15 Responses to “A Brutal, Bloody Beatdown In Sanlitun Last Week [UPDATE]”

    1. James

      1996, I was biking through Shenyang when I saw a fight break out at a sidewalk foodstall/bar.

      One Chinese guy grabbed a liter bottle of beer and smashed it into the side of the head of one of the other guys there at the table, and the guy dropped like a stone.

      The bottle broke, but knowing what I know now about head trauma, I would guess I witnessed a murder.

    2. Charles

      There’s a police station about 50 yards away. If only someone had bribed the cops to care, shit like this wouldn’t happen. Fucking worthless waste of space Beijing police. ANGER.

      • jtdj

        I agree. If nobody had already, someone should have gone around the corner to get the cops. No matter what happened between these guys, that was brutal, not to mention the unfortunate food vendor that was just trying to make an honest buck from hungry drunks.

    3. sascha

      i have to say, not one of those lil chumps in the crowd had the balls to walk to the guy and be like, enough, and actually grab him and try and walk him away. Calm dude down, carry the other guy off the scene. Sure he’s big and pissed, but i’ve walked big guys off of bad situations before. you gotta know what to say i guess, and also be calm and not petrified that you’re gonna be next.

      if dude dies, (which he didn’t) or has severe brain trauma, then everyone not just the dude administering the ass whipping is responsible.

      I have been in this situation before and sure, you also have to know when to walk away. I saw a foreigner get killed in Chiang Mai and a few of us were gonna step in before it got nasty, but it got real fkn nasty, huge crowd of Thai dudes destroying everyone. And thai dudes on a rampage is nothing to fk with.

      In that situation, I still feel it, but had i stepped in, i would probably be dead too. But this here was one guy, getting filmed by a crowd. Beijing expats need to check their courage and honor.

    4. Scott

      Ya wanna stop the fight but you don’t have the fucking balls to step in there and actually fucking stop the fight. “Hey, somebody pull him off, man, seriously.” Really? Why the fuck don’t YOU pull him off, huh? Might you get hurt? Yeah, you might. Luckily that guy didn’t die, otherwise his blood would have been on all of your hands. Jesus Christ!

    5. Scott

      Yo, Sasha. I just read what you wrote after I posted. We say pretty much the same thing. And really, there was a fucking CROWD and just one dude. He wasn’t gonna hurt anyone else, he was pissed at the guy he was fucking up. I could see it on his face, if someone had just calmly held him back, it wouldn’t have gone that far. You’re absolutely right, bro. That was an abysmal display of Expat courage and honor, or rather, lack there of.

    6. Marty Handley

      I hope you are deported you fucking jerkoff, I dont care what happened to you, we are all foreigners together, and what you did to this human, weather he is an uneducated asshole, you are far the bigger fucktard than the guy you delivered the beatdown to. Dont you realize that tensions are high here now???? Obviously not, cause you are an absolute fuckin jerkoff!!!! So great another video of a foreigner on a local, you souless, dipshit derelict. I hope you get what you clearly deserve, a one way ticket to the prison where you should be fully fucked by every inmate in said prison. Hit the bricks bitch!!!!


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