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, divorce rates rise again, Bruce Lee’s family sues, violence against doctors makes the headlines, students learn through love letters, and an academic promotes drinking culture (Video content warning: traffic accident depicted):
Professor of controversy
Feng Gang, a sociology professor at Zhejiang University, was accused of promoting China’s male-dominated drinking culture when he posted on Weibo suggesting that students under his supervision should be able to drink half a catty (around 250 milliliters) of 50-percent strength liquor. This isn’t the first time Feng has caused controversy: In 2017, he wrote that “History has proved that academia is not the domain of women.”
Hot pot horror
Police in Jiangsu arrested a man accused of using a bow and poisoned arrows to kill eight dogs and planning to sell their meat at his hot pot restaurant. He claimed the price of dog meat was too high for him to afford through legal channels.
A Christmas miracle…
Just days before Christmas, a man in Guizhou plunged from the 30th floor when doors to the elevator shaft opened before the cab had arrived. Miraculously, he managed to survive by grabbing hold of the elevator cables on the 8th floor.
…and two Christmas tragedies
In less festive news, two secondary school students in Chongqing were struck and killed by a man who committed suicide by jumping off an apartment building on December 24. Also on Christmas Eve, Beijing doctor Yang Wen was attacked and killed by the son of a patient, adding to China’s troubled history of violence against doctors.
School of love
High school students in Jinhua, Zhejiang, were set an unusual task by their geography teacher: to write love letters on topics they had covered in class. More than 700 odes to climate change, the Milky Way, meteorological phenomena, and more were written by over 200 students (“As the North Atlantic Current warms the coast of Murmansk/ The sun warms the world/ You warm my heart,” goes one.)
A mandatory 30-day “cooling off” period for divorcing couples, proposed by the draft of China’s civil code, is attracting public opposition, with 56 percent of over 200,000 respondents polled by the People’s Daily on Weibo disagreeing with the requirement. Legislator Li Yuefeng of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee has suggested making exceptions to the rule in special circumstances, such as domestic violence.
According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, a record-breaking 3.1 million couples filed for divorce in the first three quarters of 2019, up from 2.9 million over the same period last year.
Coincidental car accident
A woman riding a moped in Yichang, Hubei province was struck by a white car and injured. Less than 10 minutes late, her husband was struck in the same place, by another white car.
Kung fu copyright chaos
Bruce Lee Enterprises, which owns the rights to the late martial arts star’s image and brand, is suing Chinese fast-food chain Zhen Gongfu for using Lee’s image without permission. Zhen Gongfu’s logo bears a striking resemblance to Lee in one of his iconic poses, and the company has long been accused of copying Lee’s likeness in its branding.
Registered no more
China’s central government has cancelled the controversial household registration (hukou) policy for residents of cities with less than 3 million people, part of an ongoing effort to encourage settlement in less-developed regions and reduce overcrowding in the major cities.
Cover image from Pixabay