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The Viral Week That Was: Ep 93

Record ice bath, KFC's robot intelligence, Taiwan Hitler, and a baby relay


*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.

Merry Christmas and welcome back to the Viral Week. TWOC wishes everyone happy holidays and we have prepared gifts to help you celebrate. Coming up in today’s issue, we bring you a baby relay race against time, what happens when the winter isn’t cold enough, the story of the Chinese passenger, and Nazi Taiwan. But first…



Earlier this year, KFC (China’s unofficial sponsor for Thanksgiving) revealed a new store in Shanghai that features AI-enabled robots.

And for Christmas, a new branch has opened in Beijing.

So what does this smart restaurant offer diners?

Well, after ordering with a machine, customers are given the option to have their photo taken. And with this small step, their information is recorded and saved into a database. When the customer returns, the machine scans the face and can then suggest orders based on previous experiences.

According to the general manager of Beijing KFC, this technology “will help to attract more young consumers who prefer fashionable new things”.

As yet, it would seem that nobody has pointed out to this manager how creepy that is.



Five days before the supposed birth of Christ, a baby was born prematurely in Moyu County, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

However, the infant was found to be suffering from schistocelia, a congenital fissure in the abdominal wall, and needed to be transfer to a hospital in Urumqi for treatment.

Unfortunately Urumqi is 1,420km away.

Luckily, the community pulled together to help transport the baby. Organizations and individuals worked to together to aid the infant’s journey. Local police forces even opened up a special channel for the ambulance to travel in.

And in the end, the baby made it to the hospital and resulting surgery was a success.



For some people, winter weather is never cold enough. And when this happens, they go out of their way to find a method to decrease the temperature of their immediate surroundings.

Take Jin Songhao for example.

In his 60s, Jin is currently the holder of the world record for the longest ice bath with a time of around two hours.

As a Christmas present to his fans and himself, Jin decided to take part in an ice bath event on the Zhangjiajie bridge in Hunan Province, the world’s longest and highest glass bridge. He ended his attempt with a time of 123 minutes.

Unfortunately, Chen Kecai, Jin’s long time rival and former holder of the record, was also in attendance and he managed a time of 129.

The event was not solely for these two icons of the ice bathing world to put on a show. People could volunteer to try out their own ice experiences.



By now, we all know the reputations held by Chinese travelers and tourists (if you don’t, then be sure to brush up here).

Early last year, Piao Yinglan was on an Asiana Airlines flight from Yanji, Jilin Province, to Incheon, South Korea. For reasons unbeknownst to anyone, Piao decided to open the emergency exit on the plane, forcing the emergency slide to be deployed and the plane to be delayed for four hours. The result was an estimated 34,000 RMB worth of damage.

Piao was taken to court and recently a verdict was given. She was found guilty of “endangering public safety” and…that’s it.

Yes, that’s right. Piao pleaded guilty to the charges, but the court decided that too little damage was done and passengers were not harmed enough for it to warrant any type of punishment.

This trial was the first of its kind held in China, which would bode well–if we ignore the precedent it sets.



Taiwan has once again come under scrutiny (no, not because of that). This time for a seemingly pro-Nazi parade held at the Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School.

Students at the school were pictured holding up swastikas while dressed up in full Nazi outfits. The activity was apparently part of their history class and included a rendition of Adolf Hitler being portrayed by a history teacher.

Unsurprisingly, many online netizens are outraged and shocked, in particular the Jewish community. An investigation will be carried out to determine how such an event managed to get so far.

The school has since apologized for the incident and have made plans to review the education that students are receiving.


Cover image from cnsoftnews.com

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