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Viral Week Ep. 201

Diapers for birds, pennies for property, U-turns for luck, and fears for facial recognition—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.

This week, birds don diapers, child rips valuable painting, homeowners pinch pennies and forbid U-turns, and facial recognition runs amok:

Tunnel tragedy

Five workers have died after a tunnel collapsed in a subway in Qingdao, the latest in a string of high-profile worksite accidents this year.

Bird turd

To alleviate depression among caged birds, as well as the mess of bird droppings, Jiangsu nurse Zheng Han started making diapers for birds to sell on Taobao in 2014. Now, the business brings her 30,000 RMB per month, including sales to the US, Canada, and other countries.

Penny pinching

A Jinan man delivered the down payment of his new home via 20 water coolers stuffed with 150,800 RMB (21,800 USD) in loose change. The coins took him 10 years to save—and 26 realtors four hours to count.

Penny pinching, cont’d

A Beijing man was arrested for evading the full fare on over 400 train journeys in the last year, using tactics such as staying on the train past his stop, and purchasing children’s tickets.

Facial fear

A China Mobile video, showing the police catching a criminal using 5G technology, has terrified rather than excited viewers with its ominous lighting and implications for privacy.

Facial fear, cont’d

A Chinese programmer on Weibo claims to have the real names of over 100,000 porn actresses, and an AI-program that can cross-references faces in porn videos with social media profiles.

Lucky turn

After a Guangdong man rudely told off a driver for making a U-turn in front of his home (due to the cement not being dry), a netizen organized a creative form of revenge—by spreading the rumor that the house had excellent feng shui, which inspired hoards of drivers to come and try to “turn” their luck around.

Bun bother
A woman paid 11,122 RMB (1,600 USD) for steamed buns after mistyping her WeChat Wallet PIN as the payment amount, a notorious flaw within the mobile payment system (she got the money back from the vendor).

Qing art vs. child

A Qing dynasty painting valued at over 1.3 million RMB was ripped by a misbehaving child on a pre-auction exhibition in Hong Kong, sparking the usual debates on modern parenting and whether children should be allowed at such events.

Love for Lang Lang

Renowned pianist and long-time bachelor Lang Lang released his wedding photos with German-Korean pianist Gina Alice on Sunday, as Weibo users congratulated him for fulling the last dream of his “tiger parents.”

Social screening

Chinese visa agents are warning clients that US immigration authorities will demand a list of all social media platforms and usernames that they’ve used within the last five years, including Chinese sites such as QQ, Douban, Weibo, and Youku.

Huawei okay

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has lifted its controversial ban on Huawei employees as peer reviewers, which was announced last week in compliance with US regulations.

Cover image from VCG


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