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Viral Week Ep. 240

Wuhanese buy treats, police clash on province border, Burger King apologises, spicy rewards, and foreigners banned—China revives, but life remains fraught

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, Wuhan begins to revive, a wedding goes viral, health workers get a tasty reward, and police clash on Hubei border:

Freedom takeout

Last week, after two months of forced closure, about 10,000 restaurants, coffee houses and milk tea shops resumed operations in Wuhan, mainly offering delivery service. According to data from Alipay, milk tea orders skyrocketed up eight times in just three days.

King of apologies

When Burger King Taiwan used the term “Wuhan coronavirus” on its Facebook account, Burger King China took to Weibo to issue an apology on Burger King Taiwan’s behalf, as the two franchises are operated by separate companies. However, some netizens took equal offense to the fact that there were two companies, suggesting, “Shouldn’t Burger King Taiwan be a part of Burger King China?”

Foreign isolation

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a ban on foreign nationals entering the country from March 28 to mitigate the risk of imported coronavirus cases, including even foreigners who hold a valid visa (with small numbers of exceptions). 

Spicy reward

The Sichuan Hot Pot Association has pledged free hot pot for one year to all health workers who provided front-line relief to Hubei province during the Covid-19 epidemic. Over 400 restaurants across the province have signed on at the time of writing.

A bridge too far

The police forces of Huangmei county, Hubei province, and Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, had a violent clash on a bridge connecting their jurisdictions after it was apparently blockaded by Jiangmei police, though travel restrictions from Hubei were lifted. Members of the public joined the confrontation, forcing Huangmei county’s Party chief to implore residents, via loudspeaker, to return home.

Wed online

With coronavirus preventing easy travel and mass gatherings, a Hangzhou couple livestreamed their marriage ceremony from their bedroom so that their friends and family could join the marriage traditions from afar. To their surprise, the video has garnered over 3.5 million views and thousands of comments offering good wishes in just eight days.

Disputed deliveries

After two truck drivers threatened each other with a physical fight during an argument over a delivery order in a WeChat group, police asked the two men to apologize in the group, and instructed other group members to give each of them at least 10 “likes.”

Smut removed
After the sensation of the South Korean “N room” case, China’s office in charge of “eliminating pornography and illegal publications” received reports of similar child pornography-related forums and websites. The office posted on Weibo that the reported foreign websites have been blocked and promised to investigate any such cases in China.

Masked diplomacy

Reports that over 600,000 masks sold to the Netherlands were recalled by the Dutch Ministry of Health for quality issues incited Chinese netizens’ anger on Weibo, forcing the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands to respond, “China’s aim is very simple, to strive to save more lives, geopolitical considerations do not exist.”

Cover Image from VCG


TWOC‘s editors are a bilingual, international team that is always on the lookout for original and human-centered stories to share with our readers. We are dedicated to accuracy, objectivity, and looking at each of China's stories through the eyes of its participants. Get in touch through our About Us page if you have a story to pitch!

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