In the viral video, Liang initially looks amused at the question, but as the length wears on, she sighs and what soon follows is an eye-roll that has become the latest rage online.
By late Tuesday afternoon, however, that video had been deleted - with Liang's name becoming one of the most censored terms on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter - as unconfirmed reports emerged of authorities moving to formally revoke her official press credentials.
Jeremy Paxman it certainly was not - but then Beijing-friendly reporters such as Zhang are often tasked with lobbing softball questions at leaders in a bid to convince the Chinese public and the world that they are watching transparency in action. Liang Xiangyi became a popular internet sensation within a few hours.
Impeccably coiffed and sporting a bright blue suit jacket, Yicai financial news service reporter Liang Xiangyi sighed and raised a sceptical eyebrow at another journalist's query to a delegate at a National People's Congress press event Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Zhang's name also joins the list of most censored words on Weibo at number eight, and a screenshot of a conversation involving Zhang saying "what is she doing looking at me like that?" also went viral.
Liang, a business reporter for Shanghai-based channel Yicai, reportedly told her coworkers that "the person next to me was being an idiot". On Taobao, the freewheeling online marketplace, vendors began selling T-shirts and cellphone cases bearing her image. This year, it has drawn heightened attention for a constitutional amendment that abolished term limits for President Xi Jinping.More news: Monterey County teacher accidentally fires gun in class, injuring students
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"Urgent notice: all media personnel are prohibited from discussing the Two Sessions blue-clothed reporter incident on social media", a leaked censorship directive said according to the China Digital Times.
The eye-roll was filmed by state-run broadcaster CCTV and was even filmed on mobile phones by mainland netizens and shared online. Without exception, websites must not hype the episode, ' the advisory read. Supporters also started flooding Liang's Weibo account with jokes and comments.
The whole press conference was controlled and highly staged, with only pre-selected journalists were allowed to ask already reviewed questions.
According to South China Morning Post, questions from reporters are normally screened and Zhang's question was picked.
"What is going on with Chinese free trade agreements with other countries? And how do you think China's multi-lateral trading system will develop in the future?" Will you please explain this to all of us?