Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about. It’s the perfect start to the new year.
This week, hot pot gets steamy, tourists know kung fu, CCTV announces fresher meat, and netizens are mocking a Chinese Addams Family. But first…
Goose not down
Recent diplomatic tensions between China and Canada had got pricey coat-maker Canada Goose running scared, given Chinese patriots’ past history of voting with their wallets. But hour-long lines reported at their flagship Canada Goose store, which opened in Beijing on December 28, indicate they shouldn’t have worried.
The Canadian company lost 16 percent of its value on the New York Stock Exchange in the three days following the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on December 6, while Chinese competitor Bosideng saw a 14 percent rise that same week.
Luxury coat vs. patriotism…what would you choose? (Baijiahao)
The Beijing Daily points out that Canada Goose’s “recovery” in over the New Year could simply be an illusion created by hunger marketing: The new store limited the number of customers allowed inside, and most left empty-handed.
Hot pot hilarity
Visitors of a Haidilao restaurant in Wuhan this past Saturday were surprised to receive an unintentional dose of spice with their hot pot—a pornographic film. What’s on Weibo reported that the lewd content started appearing on a screen that normally shows advertisements for the chain, bringing about the hashtag “Haidilao TV shows vulgar scene” (#海底捞电视播不雅画面). As the spreading of such content is illegal, police are now investigating whether this was an unfortunate Bluetooth accident, or a planned ruse.
In other hot pot news, a restaurant in Zhengzhou went viral for something less lewd, but equally bizarre. The eatery announced they were recruiting 10 new hires who must have graduated from a Project 985 University, China’s equivalent of the Ivy League. The salary, a generous 200,000 RMB, was not bad for any graduate, but some netizens saw it as a sign that the job market is taking a dark turn. Others suggested it was a publicity stunt; the restaurant is named “985 Hotpot College.”
Kung fu under duress
It’s a stereotype that the Chinese are innately good at martial arts, but it’s one that a trio of thieves in St. Petersburg probably should have kept in mind when they set their sights on a tour group at the train station early one morning. After stealing a bag, the thieves were pursued and set upon by Shandong tourists Zhu Chuan and Zhao Wenyong. The latter, a policeman back in Jinan, told the Beijing News he used a “Chinese kung fu pose” to scare off the thieves.
Here a video of the feisty pair, recounting how they subdued the thieves and retrieved the bag, proving that just because something is a cliche doesn’t mean it might not occasionally be true:
Burberry family of horrors
On January 3, Burberry unveiled ad photos on Weibo featuring actresses Zhao Wei and Zhou Dongyu, introducing their new collection for the upcoming Chinese New Year.
However, Weibo users found one photo in particular, a “family portrait” with the two actresses and six other models, creepy rather than festive, due to the poker faces and color scheme.
Another example from the collection (Baijiahao)
Commenters are amusing themselves imagining how this “family” went wrong:
Each family member has a secret…the daughter plans to kill her husband…the mother doesn’t want to leave this ungrateful brat anything…all the siblings suspect or envy one another (Weibo)
“Family of vampires” (Weibo)
Littler, fresher meat
Last week, CCTV 6’s China Movie Report announced China’s new Top Four Actors and Actresses, claiming the result was based on their acting skills and definitely not their looks.
Most viewers’ takeaway is that top actors are getting younger and younger. The chosen four are Liu Haoran (Detective Chinatown, Nirvana in Fire Ⅱ), Wu Lei (Nirvana in Fire), Peng Yuchang (Our Shining Days) and Hu Xianxu (A Love For Separation). Except for Peng, who was born in October 1994, all are part of the “post-95” generation.
Left to right: Wu Lei, Liu Haoran, Peng Yuchang and Hu Xianxu
The Top Four Actresses were Zhang Zifeng (A Love For Separation), Wen Qi (The Bold, The Corrupt, and The Beautiful), Zhang Xueying (Einstein and Einstein) and Guan Xiaotong (A Servant of Two Masters). Guan and Zhang Xueying were born in 1997, while Zhang Zifeng was born in 2001, and Wen in 2003.
Left to right: Zhang Xueying, Guan Xiaotong, Zhang Zifeng and Wen Qi
Cover image from Sohu