Cats on state TV, consumer rights defended, and China cautiously adjusts to the changing Covid-19 situation at home and abroad—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, netizens remember a whistleblower, consumer rights are discussed, officials make poor choice of delivery vehicles, and cats get on state television:
As the Covid-19 situation improves in China, a customer in Weifang, Shandong province, celebrated by phoning the local barbecue shop for an order of everything on their menu. Though the owners initially thought it was a joke, they eventually spent three hours fulfilling this massive order.
Up in the air
As the pandemic worsens abroad, however, a 787 business charter flight from London to Shanghai via Geneva sold out over 100 tickets within two hours, with seats starting from 180,000 RMB.
University student Wang Jieying won the Woodpecker’s Award of the China Consumers’ Association on March 15’s World Consumer Rights Day, after winning a lawsuit against Shanghai Disney Resort for the right of visitors to bring their own snacks into the park.
Also ahead of World Consumer Rights Day, the Beijing Consumers’ Association released a survey on consumer controversies in 2019, and listed five biggest gripes: difficulty getting deposits refunded from bike-sharing companies; e-commerce vendors canceling orders without notice; the quality of educational and training organizations; product quality and untrustworthy vendors on secondhand trading platforms; and even fans complaining about concert tickets and that their idols are not getting enough attention.
Words for a whistleblower
Since Wuhan’s “whistleblower” doctor Li Wenliang passed away over a month ago due to Covid-19, netizens have left over 600,000 comments under his last post on Weibo with updates on their own struggles fighting against the virus, news of their love lives, or simply their regards.
A garbage truck was used to deliver frozen pork to residents living in Wuhan, prompting outrage. Food supplies have been controlled by the government since the city was locked down in January. Two local officials have been fired and another is under investigation for the incident.
Meanwhile, also in Wuhan, a hearse was used by a contractor to deliver supplies to their relatives. The official in charge of the local funeral management office was removed.
Mews at 9
CCTV viewers were mystified last week to hear meowing sounds during their serious state newscasts. The source turned out to be a few stray cats (which have since been put up for adoption) that staff have been feeding outside the studio .
Wuhan University has launched “virtual cherry blossoms viewing,” as Covid-19 has made it impossible for tourists see the star attraction in person. The university will live stream the cherry blossoms on its campus on its official Sina Weibo account from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day from March 16 to 25.
The performance of a children’s song titled “The Shelter Hospital is Really Magical” on Beijing News left a sour taste in the mouths of some netizens, who commented on Weibo: “Nothing magical, just people fighting for their lives,” and “Exaggerated and deliberate smiles should not exist after 40 years of reform and opening up.”
Put out to grass
Images of a parked car in Wuhan with grass sprouting from its windshield drew mixed feelings among netizens, who appreciated the coming of spring while being reminded just how long the city has been under quarantine.