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.
Hip Hop On Notice
Previously, rapper PG One came under scrutiny for allegedly having an affair with married actress Li Xiaolu. Now, it was the turn of GAI, his co-winner of The Rap of China, to face controversy.
Having made waves with his performance on music competition The Singer, GAI was revealed to be no longer participating in the show last week.
According to reports, the Chinese government had issued orders to broadcasters to stop giving airtime to “artists with tattoos, hip hop culture, sub-culture (non-mainstream culture), and depressed culture (decadent culture)” as well as those who are “in conflict with the party’s core values and morals.”
Although, no official statements on this matter has been made yet, GAI’s removal seems to point in the direction of a ban on hip hop. On the other hand, the government’s fondness for propaganda rap may be the life vest that keeps this genre of music alive.
The Traveling Frog
Similar to the rise of the WeChat mini app 跳一跳, a new mobile game has taken the country by storm, despite the fact that it is in a language that most cannot read.
Traveling Frog is a Japanese game in which users act as a housekeeper for a—you’ve guessed it—traveling frog. Users are forced to do the gardening and prepare meals for the frog. In return, the frog will travel to different areas of Japan and may send photos for the user to gaze upon.
However, if the user neglects their duties and forgets to put out food, the frog may throw a tantrum and leave for an extended period of time.
Many have likened this game to owning a digital pet and there has been much online discussion as to what meaning of the game is.
Last week, a man in the southwestern region of China was caught on security tape disposing his baby in a dumpster.
Slung into a white paper bag, the newborn baby was carried by the father and placed into the inner section of the dumpster. Fortunately, a woman passed by and discovered the child. She then went home to fetch clothing while other bystanders called the police.
Through the use of surveillance, the police quickly found both the father and the mother, placing them under arrest. The mother has since been released on bail.
Chinese Restaurant Guide
A new Chinese restaurant guide was released last week, with the People’s Daily calling it the “Chinese-edition of Michelin Guide.”
The Black Pearl Restaurant guide is a product of Meituan-Dianping, the online group-buying giant, and does not seem to have any affiliation with the French tire-maker that publishes hospitality guides.
It does, however, list 330 restaurant from 22 cities in China and five more abroad that a team of chefs, experts, and special advisers deem to fully reflect China’s “unique culinary preferences.”
Those selected are assigned a number of diamonds—because diamonds are more valuable than stars—that have different meanings.
- One diamond: Where you would take friends and family.
- Two diamonds: Save it for a special occasion.
- Three diamonds: Visit once in your lifetime.
Those interested can find the full list here.
Kris Wu To Perform Before Super Bowl
Canadian-Chinese actor/singer Kris Wu has been named as an ambassador for NFL China at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis and will take part in the festivities leading up to the world’s biggest sporting event.
It is hoped that Wu’s presence will draw more Chinese audiences to the Super Bowl. However, those hoping to catch Wu on the stage with Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl Halftime Show will be disappointed.
Wu is slated to perform at 4 p.m. CST the day before the big game, which means Chinese audiences will need get up at 6 a.m. on Sunday to watch him perform.