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The Viral Week That Was: Ep 88

Robot on Graveyard Shift, White Beijing, Pizza's new Digs, and Mysterious Books


*The Viral Week That Was is our weekly round-up of the previous week’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about. Think of this as a nicotine patch to help ease yourself into the working week after suckling on the smokey teat of the weekend.

After a long, well deserved break, we welcome you all back to the Viral Week. Coming up on today’s episode, we bring you fighting with family, a large scale literary war occurring on public transport, a scary robot assistant, and snow in Beijing! But first, on a more optimistic note…



Remember Pizza the Polar Bear? Previously we mentioned the atrocious living conditions that he was subject to while parading for the entertainment of shoppers at a mall in Guangzhou.


They may be shoppers, but there are plenty of others names fitting as well [People’s Daily]

Well, a campaign to have him released has achieved a minor success as Pizza will now be moved to a different location.


Not a minute too soon [People’s Daily]

We say minor because there is still so much that is unclear, namely what location Pizza will be moved to (though the word is that his parents are there). And while, “the world’s saddest polar bear” may be receiving an upgrade, there has been no indication that others living in the shopping mall zoo (seriously, how is this a thing) will experience change.



What do you see when you look at this image?


Maybe a performance art piece?

On the outside, it looks like one of the run-of-the-mill fights that happen on a daily basis in north-eastern China. However, it is in fact a kerfuffle of a domestic nature.

The story goes like this: a boy was visiting a local real estate agency with his parents when a they came to a disagreement that descended into violence. It turns out that the boy’s parents had bought a new apartment for him but there was one problem: it was too small.

He decided to rectify this problem with his fists and all of them were soon taken into custody by the local police.



You may have noticed books littered around on your daily commutes. These are not the clues left by an underground Chinese literati syndicate, but in fact a promotional activity to encourage reading.


You can tell from the yellow sticker [Weibo]

Over one hundred celebrities and a litany of volunteers have left over ten thousand books on subways, buses, and taxis in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou for travelers to pick up and read.


Is it a pick-up or discard? [Weibo]

Influenced by Emma Watson’s distribution of Maya Angelou’s Mom & Me & Mom on the London Underground, the “Battle of Book Distribution (丢书大作战)” encourages users to read the book, scan its QR code to leave and read previous messages, and then leave it for the next reader—all in the time it takes to get from work to home.


“Only another 600 pages in the remaining 20 minutes” [Weibo]

If you want to take part, the organizers have a WeChat account “thefair2” where you can learn more.



A cemetery in Henan Province has employed a robot guard to help protect female employees as they patrol the grounds at night.


Guess which one is the robot [People’s Daily]

While many have expressed skepticism at the effectiveness of such a measure, including whether or not the creepiness of the robot will end up terrifying the employees themselves, the cemetery has not been deterred, stating that it can help alleviate loneliness and also help pull carts.


A smooth ride [People’s Daily]

And for those interested, it is reported that the robot cost the cemetery upward of 10,000 RMB.



The weekend saw the first flakes of snow befall Beijing and amateur photographers all over the city stepped outside to catch this moment. Here is a collection of what the Chinese internet has to offer.


Snow clouds the horizon [China Daily]


Never seen Beijing this empty [China Daily]


Morning shopping run [China Daily]


“Look, a snowy chair!” [China Daily]


An icy rose for an icy rose [China Daily]


Forbidden snow in the city [Weibo]

On a serious note, please be careful in this weather. The roads you know to be dangerous and suspect normally, just became slippery.


Missed the last issue? Here it is!

Cover image from Weibo

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