Qingdao’s new monorail, the Bieber ban, mourning Chester Bennington, and the teenager who dumped a car on his neighbors
*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 week after suckling on the smokey teat of the weekend.
Welcome back one and all to the wonderful world of the Viral Week. Coming up on today’s issue, we bring you a footballer booed in China, burdening your neighbors, how Hangzhou people deal with the heat, Justin Bieber banned, and tributes to Chester Bennington. But first…
In China’s ever-present search for newer, more efficient ways to ferry the public around, last week saw the trial run of the country’s fastest suspended monorail system.
Built in Qingdao (the city famous for its beer), the monorail is supposed to be more economically, environmentally, and fourth-dimensionally friendly than traditional rail systems.
And for the speed-fanatics out there, the train can reach a maximum speed of around 70 kilometers an hour while carrying 510 passengers in its five carriages.
Engineers claim that this type of train will make it easier for the public to travel between scenic areas and mountainous locations. What they don’t want is for this monorail to end up like that abandoned straddling bus.
This past weekend saw two English behemoths of football battle it out in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium. While, this would normally be a great occasion for Chinese fans, it was marred by the behavior of one particular player.
When Robert Kenedy Nunes Nascimento, more commonly known as Kenedy, arrived in China with his team Chelsea, he decided to post some of his thoughts on Instagram.
In one post, he said “F*** China” and in another he captured a sleeping security guard with the caption “Wake up China, idiot.”
Unsurprisingly, Chinese audiences did not take a liking to this behavior and Kenedy was heavily booed when he took to the field in Beijing.
The club has since issued an apology for Kenedy’s behavior, while he himself has taken to Instagram to also express his regret.
Thanks In Advance
Meanwhile in Glan Rheidol, Wales, retired couple, Tom and Julia Ebenezer, came home to find a strange black car parked in their driveway. With it was a note that said:
Hi, it’s Jack from Glan Rheidol, thank you so much for let me park my car here, if you don’t mind, can you help me to take care of my plant as well please.
I will bring some present from China for you. If there is any problem, please call me. I will be back at 15 September.
Thank you so much.
It turns out that the owner of the vehicle is a Chinese student who is renting a property opposite the Ebenezers. He apparently left for the summer and has given both his car and cactus to the Ebenezers to look after. The only problem is that the couple were not informed of this arrangement beforehand.
Unfortunately for the couple, it seems that there is nothing immediate they can do. Police and the local council have told them that they cannot be involved and warned the couple that they must not damage the vehicle if they choose to remove it.
Cooling In The Subway
Over the weekend, the city of Hangzhou issued a red heat warning with the temperatures expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius. What resulted was a mass migration into the city’s subway system in an attempt to (literally) ride out the heat wave.
Ban On Biebs
Justin Bieber has been banned. No, not from breathing, as many had hoped, but the next best thing—China.
When Bieber’s tour schedule was announced, Chinese destinations were conspicuously absent. One fan took upon themselves to ask the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture about the exact reason behind China’s omission. Surprisingly enough, a response was actually given.
请问为什么不允许Justin Bieber来华演出请给出详细解释！！Justin Bieber获得过多次大奖，肯定有他的才华、过人之处，为什么没有给予内地粉丝欣赏的权利？
Why is Justin Bieber not allowed to perform in China? Please give a detailed explanation!! Justin Bieber has won many big awards and is certainly talented. Why won’t you give mainland fans the chance to appreciate him?
您好： 首先非常感谢您对北京文化工作的关心和支持！ 关于您信中反映的情况，我们经过认真研究，现给您回复如下。 首先，对你表达的心情表示理解。 Justin Bieber是一个有歌唱才华但也是一个有争议的年轻外籍歌手。据了解，作为一名公众人物，他在境外社会生活及在国内演出活动中曾有一系列不良行为引发公众不满。 为规范国内演出市场秩序，净化演出市场环境，因此不宜引进有不良行为的演艺人员。但是，希望Justin Bieber在成长过程中不断完善自己的言行，真正成为受公众喜爱的歌手。 再次感谢您的理解和支持！ 北京市文化局 2017年7 月18 日
Hello: Firstly, we would like to thank you for your support for the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture. Regarding your previous message, after careful analysis, we have formulated a response. First of all, we understand your feelings. Justin Bieber is a talented, but also controversial young foreign singer. From what we know, as a public figure, he has behaved badly both socially outside this country and when he has performed in China, causing public dissatisfaction. In order to standardize domestic performances and clean up their environment, we are not allowing badly behaving artists to perform. However, we hope that Justin Bieber will improve his public persona and truly become a beloved public figure. Again, we thank you for your understanding and support! (Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, July 18, 2017)
So there you have it—the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture actually answered a question.
Tribute To Chester
Last week saw the passing of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington, and the world grieved as another influential artist was lost.
Tributes came from all over the world and China was no different. Here are some of what Chinese fans had to say about Chester’s tragic death (as per comments left on Linkin Park’s official Weibo account).
颠覆混合理论：Why is everything so heavy.
大胡子老太婆：既然他选择了 他会快乐的 让他安安静静的走吧 不要关闭这个微博账号 谢谢了
Since he chose it, he will be happy. Let him leave peacefully. Don’t close this Weibo account. Thank you.
During junior high, I was tormented by my step-mother to the point where I considered suicide. It was your music that gave me the strength to live on. At that time, there were no phones, only mp3s. I couldn’t see lyrics, had to copy them down from the internet, reading them as I listened, crying as I listened. You allowed me to live—why is it that in the end, you had to leave? You guys are my favorite band. You are also the only band that I have searched for countless times on Baidu. Now I will never search for you again. Thank you. cc
Chester’s suicide has shaken me too much. I’ve been thinking a lot, my thoughts are jumbled…thinking about whether LP [Linkin Park] will still be around, whether they will still be the same. Suddenly realized that this must be much harder for Mike [Shinoda] to accept…even though LP without Chester is like missing a spine, I hope Mike will allow LP to continue. At the very least, they will remind us of Chester. After all, time is a powerful….
A deep sigh. Been to four concerts, there’ll never be a fifth.
Didn’t think that the first time I saw you in Beijing on July 26, 2015, would also be the last.
Cover image from Eric Chung