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, a teacher dishes out poetic evaluations, central heating company threatens unsavory action, travel agent demands unpaid overtime, and gay couple features in mainstream advertising:
Henan elementary school teacher Shi Zhenyu wrote 67 end-of-term student evaluations in ancient verse—rhymed quatrains of septosyllabic lines—in hopes of kindling students’ passion for classical Chinese poetry.
17, the loneliest number
Authorities in Jiangsu announced that poverty in the province had been wiped out…except for 17 unlucky folks who continued to earn less than 6,000 RMB a year. The announcement drew ridicule from some netizens, who wondered how the authorities could have arrived at such a figure, as well as where this pitiful group might be found. “I just want to know who the other 16 are,” one Weibo user commented, sarcastically.
A People’s Daily video montage of family members’ reactions to surprise visits home during the Spring Festival amassed over 230,000 views in less than 24 hours, eliciting a range of emotional Weibo comments such as “I’m crying, the tears of family are priceless,” “Okay, but what if you give them a literal heart attack,” and “Am I the only person who doesn’t want to go home?”
An advertisement for e-commerce giant Tmall went viral for featuring a gay couple. The 20-second segment shows a young man introducing his partner, Kelvin, to his parents on his return home for Spring Festival. “This is an amazing step,” read one comment with over 21,000 likes on Weibo.
Professor of flattery
Researcher Xu Zhongming at the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) recently came under fire on Weibo for an article he published seven years ago in an academic journal, in which he devoted two sections to praising his mentor Cheng Guodong, who happened to be the editor-in-chief of the journal, and Cheng’s wife. Xu even drafted an infographic explaining the “Harmonious and unified relationship of Mr. and Mrs. Cheng.” CAS has since withdrawn the article, and Cheng has resigned from the journal.
Wang Xiaoqin, founder of travel agency Funyard, shot to online infamy for requiring one of her staff to design 150 travel posters per day—a figure which netizens calculated requires one poster every nine minutes if working non-stop for 24 hours. “The whole design industry works overtime,” Wang claimed, adding “We’re not a state-owned enterprise.”
In a viral video, five organ donation recipients in Chongqing sang together in honor of their organ donor, an Australian teacher at Xinan University named Philip who passed from diabetes at age 27. The singers, including two doctors, a saleswoman, farmer, and driver, began the performance: “I am Philip’s liver,” “I am Philip’s kidney,” and “I am Philip’s eye.”
A central heating company in Fushun, Liaoning province, fed up with residents apparently siphoning off hot water from their radiators for everyday use, threatened to add human feces to the water to ward people from the practice.
Cover image from Pixabay