"Movies and liquor renamed, death by a joke, another video assault, and the day that broke Weibo—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, China’s renaming trend expands to movies and liquor, middle schoolers turn vigilantes, jokes prove to be no laughing matter, and Weibo buckles under celeb-bombshells:
Four junior high students, armed with a toy gun, performed a citizen’s arrest of a drug-user in a public toilet following a tip from a local senior, earning the police’s “praise for their spirit and criticism for their action.”
NBA star James Harden, in China for an Adidas promotional campaign, has issued a public apology on Weibo after being stopped by traffic police for riding a scooter on the wrong side of the road in Shanghai.
Video assailant arrested
Following a nationwide manhunt for a Dalian man caught on camera for savagely beating a woman in the road, a Taiyuan man has been arrested for a similar offense, apparently turning violent when the woman refused to add him on WeChat.
No laughing matter
A Guizhou man who told his neighbor an extra-hilarious joke last year—and inadvertently caused the neighbor’s death from a heart attack while laughing—has agreed to pay a settlement of 60,000 RMB to the neighbor’s family (police have refused to say what the joke was).
Name’s to blame
Tightening restrictions on China’s TV and movie sector may have forced some new releases to change their names, with the bombastic Great Wish (《伟大的愿望》, officially called The Last Wish in English) becoming a modest Little Wish, and depressive Cry Me a River becoming the more cheery The Flowing Beautiful Time.
Name’s to blame, cont’d
Iconic alcohol brand Maotai has officially renamed itself “Guizhou Maotai,” abandoning the “nation’s liquor Maotai” trademark it has used for 17 years in violation of false advertising laws.
The day that broke Weibo
Thursday, June 27, has been dubbed “Weibo’s most dramatic day,” with no less than four entertainment-related bombshells: Korean celebrity couple Song Kye-kyo and Song Joong-ki announced their divorce in the morning, followed by the wedding of Chinese actor Zhang Ruoyun and actress Tang Yixin in the afternoon, and the death of the mother of “grassroots” film star Wang Baoqiang. The emotional rollercoaster culminated in the evening with the breakup of Fan Bingbing and fiancé Li Chen.
Cover Image from VCG