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The Viral Week That Was: Ep 94

Heart clouds, firefighters in heat, stunt bikes, and more

*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.

Happy new year and welcome back to the Viral Week. We at TWOC hope that all your bellies are full of food, hearts filled with joy, and lungs aren’t totally stuffed with smog. Coming up on 2017’s first issue, we bring you tricks on ice, a message from the people above, an application for pee breaks, and a calendar to get you started. But first…



I know what you are all thinking.

It’s a new year, shouldn’t we start off with something more lighthearted and jovial?


Last week, a video was circulating on WeChat that allegedly shows fraud victims attempting suicide by drinking a milky white liquid on the Beijing subway—though for all we know, it could actually be milk. Police soon arrived on the scene and dragged the unconscious men and women out. Apparently, none of them died.

There have been little to no reports into this event, but rumors having been floating around claiming that these people were stock traders who fell victim to financial fraud, leaving them with mountains of debt. For reasons left for readers to construct, Chinese media have scrubbed all mentions, including WeChat posts.



A 55 year-old man in northeast China recently decided to the start the new year by treading the fine line between exhilaration and paralysis. Zhou has been practicing bike stunts by himself for over twenty years and has better balance than most athletes half his age.



While most of northern China were busy hibernating against the copious amounts of pollutants in the atmosphere, “You Know Who” has been playing favorites by giving Jinhua, Zhejiang province, a special treat.

The heart-shaped cloud formation was just one of many pictures that were formed by mysterious meteorological means.



A school in Guangzhou came under fire over the holidays for a seemingly oppressive bathroom strategy.

It all started when a few boys (isn’t it always) broke school dress code by forgetting to wear red scarves. Subsequently, the headteacher mandated that the entire class will need to apply for toilet usage during breaks when the need arises.

Parents of the children were less than happy with this measure, stating urinary complications and in-classroom relief being some of the outcomes.

In fact, the headteacher at this primary school is well known for being strict with her students. There have been petitions in the past calling for her removal due to over-regulation of student freedoms.

The headteacher has not yet made an official statement on the matter, but has stated that she has over twenty years of teaching experience. Meanwhile education authorities are said to have started an investigation.



Firefighters across the globe are known for not only stopping fires, but also starting them.

And the main source of this flame is the annual tradition of the firemen’s calendar.

The Shaanxi fire department released these photos on their Weibo account and has caused a mild storm on the web-o-sphere.

So, that’s good news for those of you still needing a physical calendar for 2017.


Cover image from Weibo


Ethan Yun is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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