"Giant swine, NBA’s resurgence, noodle collusion, and birthday bans—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, NBA plays ball, farmers breed giant swine, a village bans birthdays, and millennials make their wills:
Cherry blossoms at Wuhan University, which typically bloom in March, were reported to have blossomed last week due to an unusually warm fall (but such “beautiful mistakes” are not rare in the nature, says botanist Dong Likun).
In spite of backlash over Houston Rockets’ apparent support of the Hong Kong riots, the game between Lakers and the Nets on October 10 saw all 18,000 seats sold out in Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena—a “slap in the face” to furious fans who had earlier streamed themselves tearing up their tickets for the NBA China Tournament.
The controversy began on October 4 when the Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey’s tweeted in support of Hong Kong protesters, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver made a statement supporting Monrey’s “right to free speech.” In response, CCTV and Tencent announced to suspend broadcasts of NBA games; brands including Dicos, Anta, and Mengniu ceased cooperation with the NBA; and celebrities including Cai Xukun and Li Yifeng withdrew from the NBA’s promotional activities.
Following backlash from parents and the public, a kindergarten in Shaanxi province is undergoing investigation for making children eat their lunch in the bathroom if they did not finish by the end of the lunch break.
Giant swine fever
In an attempt to offset an expected pork shortage due to African swine fever, a farmer in Guangxi province is breeding giant pigs as heavy as polar bears.
A Hangzhou motorist called traffic police to report himself for drunk driving, and threatened to continue driving if not apprehended, having apparently staged the incident in order to escape from a demanding family.
An elderly woman shopping at a local market attracted the police’s attention by stuffing spring onions into an apparently valuable Louis Vuitton purse, leading to investigations that led to her daughter’s arrest for selling counterfeit handbags.
A Zhengzhou mall has been criticized for violating employees’ privacy by ordering them to change their WeChat profile picture to a sales poster and submit screenshots to prove that they had shared the advertisement with friends, or face a 50 RMB pay deduction.
A Shanxi village director apologized after an unpopular attempt to force frugality and raise productivity by outlawing 60th birthday parties, babies month-old celebrations, and banquets celebrating university or military enrollment, as well as wearing traditional clothes and giving flower circles at funerals, complaining, “There are only 365 days a year, and these activities take up 280 days.”
Authorities in Guizhou province have cracked down on “price fixing” among beef-noodle vendors, who colluded to charge almost 20 RMB for a large bowl of rice noodles with extra beef.
Virtual property such as Alipay and gaming accounts are now frequently recorded in the wills of those born in the 1990s, according to a National Will Registration Record employee.
Cover image from Pexels