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    Apr 25, 2016

    Did monkey kick rock that killed ex-GM connected to White Rabbit candy?


    THE news about a monkey being responsible for the death of a tourist once linked to China's famous White Rabbit candy is not accepted yet by many local media, which want clear evidence to prove a primate is at fault.

    Weng Mao, 67, who retired in 2010 as general manager of a food company under Shanghai's Guan Sheng Yuan Group, died on Tuesday after being hit by a falling rock at Yuntai Mountain in central China's Henan province, reported the 21st Century Economic Report.

    According to the Shanghai-based newspaper, the claim that a monkey had dislodged the rock was widely attributed to the website of the mountain's management office.

    But a check showed there was no mention of monkey in the site's notice on the incident.

    The mountain's management also told the newspaper they could not verify whether a macaque, the species that inhabits Yuntai, had kicked off the rock.

    The government of the county which oversees Yuntai said the first allegation about "monkey" was in fact traced to two posts by netizens in Weibo, China's top microblogging site.

    An eyewitness said he saw Weng, part of a photo-taking tour group, fall over with his head bleeding, and had no idea if a monkey was involved.

    Most of the tourists whom Shanghai's Chinese Business News spoke to said most of the mountain's macaques were locked up, with only a few at large.

    Perhaps soil erosion due to the rainy season had caused the rock to fall, said tour operators who believe the urgent issue now is to clear away the mountain's loose rocks and block off dangerous areas.

    "We're now in an age of collective scripting of news. That's how (the) monkey was dragged into this incident," quipped a netizen in the website of Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television.

    "Monkey or no monkey, it's a rock that killed Mr Weng," said another netizen.

    Mr Weng joined Guang Sheng Yuan in 1992 and turned it into a profitable food conglomerate producing a variety of sweet stuffs besides White Rabbit candy and a brand of honey.

    The candy was first made in 1943 in Shanghai. It was one of the gifts that late premier Zhou Enlai presented to former United States president Richard Nixon when the latter visited China in 1972.