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, peace signs pose security risk, cadres are canned for embezzling toilet fund, emaciated lions call for catty commentary, and netizens support lyrical inflation:
A Weibo poll found netizens divided over whether a textbook’s decision to inflate the title and lyrics of children’s song “1 Fen Money” (0.01 RMB) to “1 Yuan Money,” with 37 percent of voters believing it “disrespects the original work” and 44 percent believing the lyrics “must keep up with the times.”
A Shanghai cybersecurity firm warned photo-takers not to make the “scissor sign” (or peace sign in English) with their fingers, as cybercriminals may be able to extract their fingerprints from the image.
A Hebei court ruled that the 2017 death of judge Yang Wenfeng, who fainted in the toilet after writing case materials late into the night, was not a job-related injury—inspiring netizens to warn each other against taking work home.
A Hunan village cadre was expelled from the Communist Party, and another was put on probation, for misappropriating tens of thousands of RMB earmarked for renovating latrines in the community.
Following reports that two emaciated ex-circus lions have been rehabilitated a Liaoning zoo, Taiwanese news commentators raised mainlanders’ hackles by implying they were too poor to feed their animals: “If humans [on the mainland] couldn’t eat their fill, how can we bother with the lions?”
Footage of a dark figure lurking in the Yangtze River had conspiracy theorists buzzing over the “Three Gorges Monster,” but the creature was recently discovered to be a long piece of discarded rubber.
Luxury car trouble
A Zhuhai woman proves that it is not, in fact, better to cry in a luxury car: Traffic police heard her bawling inside a Porshe, and fined her for failing to update her vehicle’s annual inspection and illegally modifying its color.
An 11-year-old boy from Henan province, who gets up at early each morning to sell onions to help pay for 700,000 RMB’s (98,756 USD) worth of medical bills for his younger brother, earned praise for his selfless actions as well as debate over the stifling cost of health care.
A Kunshan homeowner discovered a burglar engrossed in a game on his computer, having apparently forgotten his original object for breaking in. Feeling sorry for the man, the homeowner let him go, only to call the police the next day when the burglar returned to retrieve a water bottle he’d left behind.
A pregnant woman referred to as Xiao Li rejected an emergency cesarean section at a Zhejiang hospital in order to wait for an auspicious birthdate her family had already chosen. The following day, Xiao Li had to acquiesce due to intense pain, “barely” saving the life of her baby, according to hospital staff.
Cover Image from VCG