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Dull gala, smash-hit sci fi, holiday mishaps, and a funny typo—it’s Viral Week

Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are chatting about.

Despite a quiet Spring Festival (and a gala so dull, it merited not a single scandal), there was a minor hubbub involving one Chunwan performer, some holiday mishaps, and a funny typo. But first…

Spring Festival on WeChat

Around 823 million users sent digital hongbao, while Hong Kong, Macao and Bangkok were the most popular destinations—learn more about how Chinese New Year was celebrated on WeChat here

WeChat’s report was released via its official account

Record returns for ‘Wandering Earth’

Guo Fan’s adaptation of Liu Cixin’s science fiction short story earned more than 2 billion RMB in under a week, rivaling even Wolf Warrior 2 (2017), the highest-grossing Chinese film in history

The Wandering Earth Weibo account celebrate its box-office record

…and online piracy

Despite the best efforts of the National Copyright Administration, high-resolution pirate copies of Earthavailable for as little as 1 to 5 RMB, were downloaded over 20 million times

Boy, Abandoned 

A Beijing toddler, abandoned on a train en route to Hebei by his angry mother, learned that common parental scare tactics can come true (the boy was rescued by a policeman)

Girl, Rescued

A schoolgirl who fell inside the panda enclosure at Chengdu’s Research Panda Base was rescued by a security guard before the three bewildered bears had time to react

Actor, Embarrassed

Beijing Film Academy PhD holder, current post-doctoral student at Peking University, and self-proclaimed “highest educated” actor Zhai Tianlin faces allegations of plagiarism, as his academic credentials have been thoroughly questioned

Win-win translation

The 2019 China-Africa Friendly Night in Beijing may have accidentally given the game away…

While 剥削 means exploitation, here 开拓 probably refers to “develop” or open up”

Cover image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


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