Assailants on May 13, 2018, attacked Hu Xiaoli and Yu Tao, the host and cameraperson, respectively, of a local television show, "Xiaoli's Here to Help," as they were filming for a story about a real estate dispute in Henan province's Kaifeng City, according to the state-owned news website China News Service and the Weibo account of the Jinyao police station in Kaifeng City.
According to news reports, Hu and Yu, whose show appears on the government-owned Minsheng Channel, were in the foyer of an apartment building when a bare-chested man rushed at them. The man started grabbing Yu's camera and then pushed Hu out of the building, the same reports stated.
According to the news service China Youth and information on the television show's WeChat account, other men attacked Yu, repeatedly kicking and punching him in the head and body until his right eardrum perforated and his face was severely bruised. Hu sustained multiple bruises on her body and a bloody right arm from the assailant's scratches.
In a video of the attack that Hu shot on her phone and that was later broadcast on their television show and reposted on the official WeChat account, Yu was lying on the floor with his eyes closed after the attack.
According to the television show's report on WeChat, Hu called the police soon after the attack. Officers arrived to the scene an hour after the call was made and arrested three of the alleged assailants, who were later identified by their last names, Wang, Wang, and Zhu, according to the report and the Jinyao police station's Weibo account.
According to reports, Yu's video camera was shattered in the attack.
News reports stated that the two journalists had gone to the apartment building to speak with the complex's developer and were accompanied by a woman, identified only by her last name, Wang, who said she paid the down payment for an apartment in the building, but was later told to pay double the price for the same unit.
"Xiaoli's Here to Help," broadcasts on the government-owned Henan Broadcasting System's subordinate channel Minsheng Channel, and covers local problems including housing grievances and finding missing relatives, according to the state-owned online news website China News Service and the Jinyao police's Weibo account.
CPJ's multiple calls to Henan TV requesting comment went unanswered.