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.
Happy Monday one and all, and welcome to the wonderful world of Viral Week. Coming up in today’s edition, we bring you a cosplaying PR stunt, Hong Kong radio’s handover to China, soldiers addicted to mobile gaming, and Hiphopman’s exit from competition. But first…
Mrs. Fang prevails
The Golden Leopard award for best film at Switzerland’s Locarno Festival was Chinese documentary Mrs. Fang 《方绣英》. Though not as famous as its siblings in Cannes or Toronto, the Locarno is one of the longest-running film festivals in existence.
Directed by Wang Bing (王兵), the film follows the last days of the titular Mrs. Fang, an Alzheimer’s patient, as she succumbs to the natural embrace of death.
This is not the first time that a Chinese director has prevailed at the Locarno. In the past ten years, three (including Wang) have claimed the top prize. In 2009, director Guo Xiaolu won with She, a Chinese 《中国姑娘》, and the following year saw Li Hongqi’s Winter Vacation 《寒假》 go home with the prize.
Cosplay outrage staged
Last week, an argument between a young cosplaying female and an older woman stirred up a mild debate on the Chinese interwebs.
The older woman claimed that cosplaying sets a bad example for children. The cosplayer retorted that her costumes are not slutty and that she is a normal university student.
The incident made many people online give the cosplayer digital thumbs-ups for her calm approach to provocation. However, new information indicates the whole incident was a sham.
The incident was, in fact, a marketing ploy for a company whose poster was displayed behind the older woman throughout the video. Womai.com is an online shopping website for high-quality imported foods. Now they’ve unwittingly positioned themselves as opponents of of cosplay.
Hong Kong’s public broadcaster, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) has been playing the BBC World Service on 24-hour relay for almost 40 years, but starting September 4, the Brits will be replaced by a more mainland flavor—China National Radio (CNR).
The change will be made to “enhance the cultural exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong,” according to a statement by RTHK’s head of corporate communications on their official website. The statement did not clarify how much the BBC’s broadcast would be limited by. In the future, listeners will only be able to the BBC World Service during the graveyard shift or online from the BBC’s official website.
The popularity of mobile game King of Glory is not confined to civilians. According to the PLA Daily, it’s become a trend for soldiers to play it in their dorms on the weekends.
Now the paper claims that mobile-game addiction could negatively affect the health of soldiers due to the “faster blood circulation” needed for the gaming experience. In a survey, they found that while 69.8 percent of soldiers felt these games can help strengthen team unity, 55.8 percent admitted that King of Glory proficiency would not help in real-life combat scenarios.
Readers following hit Chinese reality show Rap of China will already know of the existence of Hiphopman.
Originally competing in a mask, Hiphopman took the show by storm with great performances in English and Cantonese, and amateur bars in Mandarin. Audiences speculated on his identity, with most quickly figuring out who he was.
Clue: He is somewhere in this picture from the Fast and Furious franchise
Last week’s episode finally saw the unmasking of Hiphopman, and fans all over the country cried: “Knew it.”
The contestant, known as MC Jin and for his rap battles in the US, was eliminated due to his insistence on speaking Mandarin rather than his more fluent Cantonese. But his parting post on Weibo was one of the most shared, liked, and commented on, as he included his competition lyrics with a photo featuring all the judges, and a link to his newest song.
Here are those lyrics (with translation):
(From the first day I stepped onto this stage)
(I asked myself why it felt so strange)
(Microphone in my hand felt so natural)
(But I didn’t know when I would need to leave)
(Continuing through every round wasn’t easy)
(Thankful that hip hop has given me a new group of friends)
卓卓 雙胞胎 孫八一
(Zhuo Zhuo, the twins, Sun Bayi)
(You have to know that your pressure is my pressure)
(Maybe you see me as an elder so we are different)
(I am a student when I’m on this stage)
And here is his newest song:
Cover image from @中国有嘻哈