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Viral Week Ep. 152

Peppa Big in China, celebrity breaks Weibo folllower record, slimming app, and Alipay catches identity thief—it’s Viral Week

Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the previous weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about. Think of this as the air conditioning your building manager still hasn’t turned on.

This week, Guinness crowns Weibo’s biggest celebrity, Alipay cracks a case of identity theft, and a new app makes exercise redundant. But first…

Peppa Big

She’s the pig who talks, has a snout in the middle of her forehead, and has recently gone viral in China. Now, popular British cartoon Peppa Pig has featured in the English portion of this year’s entrance exams for private middle-schools in Hangzhou.

Students who took the exam on May 5 reported having to watch an episode of Peppa and answer questions about their comprehension of the scenes.  According to Zhejiang News, the segment was part of the new “learning ability” section added to the test this year, which aims to assess students’ ability to learn, memorize, understand and analyze new information.

Zhejiang News also report that parents may spend thousands of RMB each year to prepare their children for the elite tests, for which students enter a lottery even to be eligible to take. Let’s hope Peppa was worth it.

Chinese celebrity rakes in (Weibo) millions

Remember that effervescent happiness when you finally got your 10th follower on Facebook? Well, Xie Na, host of the famous variety show Kuaile Dabenying (Happy Camp), just broke the Guinness World Record for having the greatest amount of followers on Weibo; she’s also the first person to accumulate 100 million Weibo followers (she actually broke the record on April 9, but it presumably took time to mail all those certificates).

Xie has 100,396,561 followers at the time of writing, which puts her in the ranks of Selena Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and others who have over 100 million followers on social media.

Xie, also a singer and actress, started her career as a host for Happy Camp in 2006. For the past 12 years, though, Xie has also been one of the more controversial hosts on the show, with “anti-fans” mocking her “emotional intelligence” with a few awkward interviews she’s done (her husband Zhang Jie’s weird sense of style doesn’t help). Evidently, this hasn’t been too much of a problem for Xie, as those Weibo numbers don’t lie (or do they?)

When Meitu (or other beautifying apps) is not enough

Ever wanted to join the video-posting hype but fear your appearances are not ‘standard enough’? Worry not! A Beijing-based startup, SenseTime, has launched an app that can easily make you look your best without risking a poorly Photoshopped look.

Want to see the results? Check out the video below, where a girl’s body shape changes as she starts dancing.

The original promotional video has gained 1.53 million views as of 7th of May.

The re-sizing is as simple as sliding a volume control (pun intended). So, forget all those time & energy consuming healthy exercises! Time to show the world how ideal your body is without a drop of sweat!

SenseTime is also the startup that makes AI-powered surveillance software for Chinese police. With a total valuation of more 4.5 billion USD, it is the most valuable AI startup in the world.


Police solves case with Alipay

On May 2, a man in Hubei province driving a truck was stopped by traffic police and ask to show his driving license. The name on the license was “Tan Guohui,” but the police suspected that the driver was actually Tan’s brother Tang Guoqiang, whose license had been revoked for a DUI incident.

But the driver insisted that he was, in fact, Tan Guohui—only bigger. “I look like my brother very much,” he explained calmly, “The photo was super old…Now I am 120 kilos, but then I was only 80 kilos.”

But the cop still didn’t buy it. Instead, he demanded to see his Alipay account, which has a real-name registration policy. Tan Guoqiang was detained for seven days and fined 1,000 RMB—too bad there’s no SenseTime for real life.


Cover image of Hangzhou’s private school examinations waiting area from


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