"Face-changing app, Jeremy Lin’s in, special salute for foreigners, and scholars claim China invented English—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 adds a few inventions, an app creates multi-faced problems, there’s a special greeting for foreign students, and Jeremy Lin agrees to come to China:
NBA star Jeremy Lin, 31, has signed to play with the Beijing Shougang Ducks for the upcoming season of the Chinese Basketball Association. Lin’s Weibo post announcing his move—“Beijing, here I come”—received more than 110,000 shares and 10,000 comments.
China invented English?
Scholars at a Beijing education conference claimed that China was the origin of Western culture and that English was developed from Chinese—using evidence such as the resemblance of the English word “shop” to its Chinese equivalent 商铺 (shāngpù), and of “yellow” to 叶落 (yè luò, falling leaves).
Controversy over special treatment for foreign students erupted again last week when Peking University was revealed to have used 您, a respectful second-person pronoun in international students’ acceptance letters, while using the more casual 你 for Chinese students.
ZAO, a Chinese app which enables users to adjust faces shown in videos and photos, became the second-most downloaded app in the App Store and drew concerns about privacy and infringement of portrait rights.
A woman surnamed Zhou, who developed a fungal infection allegedly from fake condoms bought from a Xi’an convenience store, signed an agreement not to pursue legal action in exchange for 10,000 RMB from the store—which promptly withdrew the offer as soon as Zhou signed the dotted line.
A woman was fined for backing her car 500 meters down an expressway in Hangzhou to retrieve two children she’d left behind at a service station during a bathroom break, during which she was distracted by a phone call and drove away.
A heartwarming video showing a 58-year-old Nanjing doctor dancing to entertain his bedridden mother has gone viral as a modernized version of China’s Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars, a Neo-Confucian classic (which contains the story of a 70-year-old son wearing flashy clothes to entertain his parents).
Cover Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Editorial