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Viral Week Ep. 206

Shirts for civilization, CEO splashed, junk-sorting prodigies, and ‘Mulan’ trailer mistakes—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, men put on their shirts, a CEO gets splashed, primary school students solve trash-sorting problem, and organized crime bust has a surprising conclusion:

Shirts for civility

It’s no longer acceptable go out shirtless—and, in some cases, shoeless—in Jinan, Shenyang, Handan, and Tianjin, as cities nationwide attempt to curb “uncivilized behavior.”

Wild winds

A freak tornado killed six people and injured over 190 on Wednesday in Kaiyuan, Liaoning, an area not previously known for twisters, while a grounded airplane was blown across the Xuzhou Guanyin International Airport on Saturday, fortunately without casualties.

Junk geniuses

As Shanghai residents struggle to sort their garbage, bin-makers have approached seven primary school students in Shenzhen to adapt a voice-activated sorting system they’d already patented last year: just by speaking the name of the trash, the lid to the right bin will open.

When the law comes knockin’…

While tracking an organized crime suspect in a Shaanxi hotel, a team of state inspectors opened the wrong door—and discovered the local police chief, chief procurator, and chief of natural resources illegally gambling.

Makin’ a splash

Robin Li, CEO of beleaguered search engine Baidu, got bottle of water poured over his head by an audience member during a speech on Wednesday; the perpetrator will be detained for five days, according to Beijing police.

Mulan mistakes

The new trailer for Disney’s Mulan (2020) saw Chinese fans praising Liu Yifei’s fierce portrayal of title character, while more pedantic viewers took issue with her family home’s resemblance to a Fujianese tulou and her Tang-era (618 – 907) makeup style (the original ballad was set in northern China in the 5th century).

24 hours in stereotypes

Popular TV drama The Longest Day in Chang’an (whose Chinese title means “24 Hours in Chang’an”) has inspired “longest day” memes that play on stereotypes of each Chinese region, after Ma Boyong, author of the novel on which the show is based, joked that he “originally wanted to write ’24 Hours in Chengdu,’ but the local would just be playing mahjong all day.”

Bottle cap craze

Many celebrities are taking part in the “Bottle Cap Challenge” initiated by UFC fighter Max Holloway last week: Some notable attempts belong to including Zhao Wenzhou and Zheng Zidan, and Li Bingbing.


TWOC‘s editors are a bilingual, international team that is always on the lookout for original and human-centered stories to share with our readers. We are dedicated to accuracy, objectivity, and looking at each of China's stories through the eyes of its participants. Get in touch through our About Us page if you have a story to pitch!

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