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, the gender gap widens, Zhejiang bank customers bring home the pork, a travel agency discriminates, and a court calls out a fake divorce. But first…
“Stable” is the word
The 2019 Chinese Pandian contest has announced 稳 (stability) as the “domestic character” of the year, and “我和我的祖国 (My motherland and I)” as the year’s domestic phrase. The international character of the year was 难 (difficulty), and the international phrase was 贸易摩擦 (trade friction).
Gender gap gapes
China dropped a further three spots on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020, continuing a steady downward trend since 2008. Now ranked 106th out of 153 countries, China is closing the gender gap in political empowerment, economic participation, and educational attainment (its highest scoring category), but losing ground in health and survival of females.
Meituan Waimai has responded to a December 22 incident where one of its food-delivery workers fatally stabbed a man in a Wuhan mall, clarifying that the victim was a supermarket employee who was involved in an altercation with the perpetrator, and not a customer who gave a bad review, as previously rumored.
Sina steps in
Sina Weibo has shut down a user account associated with Liu Xin, who is being sued by the mother of her former roommate Jiang Ge for moral responsibility in Jiang’s murder by Liu’s ex-boyfriend in 2016. The account owner (suspected to be Liu herself or a family member) is accused of posting verbally abusive messages against Jiang’s mother, and taking monetary donations from readers.
Rising pork prices continue to impact Chinese lives in strange ways: in Zhejiang, a bank offered half a kilogram of pork to customers who deposit at least 10,000 RMB into their savings account, plus a chance to win other choice cuts (or even an entire pig) in a “meat lottery.”
After spending weeks in a coma, Ming Jixian, the college student who badly lost a 240 RMB match against a professional kickboxer in Chengdu, died on Friday. Ming’s family is seeking an investigation into his death, claiming that his coach had not told the 22-year-old amateur boxer that he would be facing an advanced opponent.
A Henan woman complained of discrimination by her travel agency, which initially refused to process her tourist visa application to Japan (then asked for a 50,000 RMB deposit) due to stereotypes about her home province as a hotbed of migrant laborers.
A Beijing man surnamed Zhang was sentenced to six months in prison for bigamy, having entered a “fake divorce” in 2003 with his wife, Ms. Liu, in order to qualify for extra property, before he then remarried without her knowledge. Though Chinese law does not recognize any divorces as “fake,” judges took into account the fact that Zhang continued to live with Liu post-divorce, co-signing her loans and medical documents.
Facts in the icing
Ahead of last Saturday’s National Postgraduate Entrance Exams, the cafeteria at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics served free cakes with test-prep material written in icing in order to wish examinees good luck.