Perhaps in anticipation of the Year of the Pig, the new zodiac animal has hogged the limelight in many viral stories in the past year. Here are TWOC’s picks for the top 10:
Wang Dingxuan of Henan province has made it his life mission to train farm animals to perform various actions. His pride and joy? A pig, which he has trained to push food carts, jump over hurdles, and pull wedding carts. Even Ding’s 75-year-old mother enjoys private taxi service through the village, provided by this multi-talented hog.
Drunk Shopping Spree Begets Piglet
One very lonely man got drunk on Single’s Day (November 11), and afterward went on a Taobao shopping spree. He woke up discovering that he had purchased some new companions in his stupor—including a pig, a peacock, and a giant salamander (animals, including endangered species, are still frequently traded online in China, in spite of regulations).
High-Rises for Hogs
One company in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region had a novel idea to increase pork output: house the hogs in high-rises. So far, it has invested 500 million RMB to build complexes up to 13 stories. Each floor has the capacity to house 1,000 sows and even more piglets.
Hong Kong’s Boar Problem
In October, the concrete “jungle” saw three wild boars sparking chaos as the rampaged through the downtown area, before being shot by tranquilizer guns and released back into the wild. The next day, another boar attacked residents of a public housing complex.
A Parade Fit for a (Pig) King
A 2,073-pound pig was crowned China’s “pig king” in Sichuan province and honored with a massive festival, parade, and upcoming CCTV show. Sichuan is famous as a hog-farming region and is home to a plethora of pig-related celebrations.
Death by Hog
In the early morning hours of September 30, a man entered a Guizhou market to feed his pigs. He was found an hour later with a severed artery, having been attacked by a 250-kilogram “monster pig,” which escaped from a neighboring stall. It was not the only pig-related death this year: a village in Shaanxi was terrorized by a wild boar, which had to be killed by snipers.
Piggy Goes to College
For company in her dorm, a student at Guangdong Vocational College of Industry and Commerce purchased a miniature “teacup” pig. However, the pig quickly was revealed to have been falsely advertised, growing to the size of a dog.
Alibaba’s AI Solutions for Pigs
Increasing the efficiency of China’s agricultural sector is one of the government’s top priorities—and tech companies are stepping up. Alibaba started an artificial intelligence program at a Sichuan hog farm to increase output numbers, at a price tag of 100 million RMB.
When a wild boar found itself atop a glass bridge in Guangdong province, it got halfway across before it started trembling in fear (a similar reaction to many human glass bridge-crossers.) Security had to coax the boar off the bridge, inspiring a viral video.
Passion for Peppa
The beloved BBC cartoon character, Peppa Pig, had an interesting year in China. Sure, she ended the year with a special short from Alibaba Pictures, but for a while, some were worried that she was falling on the wrong side of government censors for promoting “gangster” behavior.
Cover image courtesy of Emily Conrad