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 Viral Week. Coming up on today’s issue, we bring you failing drinking app, Star Wars beaten, abuser abused, and where did the Cultural Revolution go. But first…
Another Brick In The Wall (Part I)
Imagine purchasing property on the second-hand housing market. As your renovators replace the previous owner’s tacky tuhao gold fittings, they make a hole in the wall, revealing a hidden mound of 140 million RMB in cash.
What would you do?
News of this happening to a homeowner in Harbin went viral over the weekend, but police in neighboring Jilin police have now released a statement clarifying that the video actually depicts a sting at a headquarters for scammers, the tucked-away fruit of whose fraudulent activities was but a paltry 6.4 million RMB.
This was a great disappointment to netizens, who hoped that a corrupt official would be behind the stash, in the manner of last year’s hit show In the Name of the People.
A similar cache of 3.64 million RMB was discovered in a wall in Liaoning province in December, part of a pyramid-sales ring covering 25 provinces and more than 100,000 people.
Blame It On The Alcohol
For many, drinking alcohol for a living would be a dream job. However, it’s not easy getting hired as a professional taster of beer, whiskey, or wine.
For everyone who doesn’t make the cut, there’s eDaihe.
A new service provided by eDaijia, an app for hiring designated drivers, eDaihe has a database of registered users who can be hired out as “designated drinkers.” Party-goers who don’t want to embarrass their hosts by not binge-drinking can hire these individuals, who are supposed to be able to drink unlimited beer, three bottles of wine, and over a liter of baijiu.
However, following criticism from People’s Daily, eDaihe have now stopped registration services and many have found their app non-functioning.
According to reports, a representative from eDaihe said that the drinking service was meant to be a publicity stunt, contradicting what they were previously quoted as saying: “It’s not a joke.”
Hate It Or Love It
Star Wars: The Last Jedi ended 2017 as the top grossing movie at the American box office, so when Chinese theaters released the movie at the beginning of 2018, expectations were high.
Unfortunately, audiences preferred a different franchise over the galaxy far far away. The Ex-File: The Return of the Exes 《前任3：再见前任》 topped the charts during Star Wars’ opening weekend, causing mouths to drop all over the world.
And it get’s worse. Projections for The Last Jedi have it earning only half of what The Force Awakens made two years ago. Analysts have posited that the reason for low earnings is the lack of nostalgia that Chinese audiences feel towards the franchise. Or it could be due to the terrible audience scores the latest installment has earned on Rotten Tomatoes.
The drop off is…noticeable
Meanwhile, The Ex-File series went from being a franchise that no one watched to what’s now the highest grossing romance in Chinese cinema history, suspiciously similar to the route that Wolf Warrior took last year.
What Goes Around Comes Around
One of the most viewed story last week was the tale of a woman who killed a dog by pushing her off a building.
The story goes like this: The dog ran out of an apartment as the family were cleaning. She later ended up with the woman in question, who started communicating with the owner.
The series of messages (posted online) shows a woman trying to extort money from the owner for the dog’s return and playing mental games as she continually suggests that their dog is dead. Later, she personally does the deed by pushing the dog out the window.
When made public, the online community reacted in outrage and the human flesh searching engine operated at full capacity, with the woman’s phone number and address soon posted online.
While the woman is now feeling the abuse dished upon her by the online community, it is still not clear what official action will be taken.
Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)
People’s Education Press (PEP), a Chinese publishing house, came under fire recently when images were leaked online showing a new edition of a school textbook that had apparently removed some content regarding the Cultural Revolution.
This sparked a slew of commenters to state how important it was for history to be included in school curricula so that the younger generation may learn from the past.
In response, PEP has said that the Cultural Revolution will be included in a second volume, which will delve deeper into period than it had in the past and will be used by eighth-graders beginning in March.