Wuhan “liberation,” possible dog meat ban, famous curtains closed, and man fired for accepting quarantine—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, Wuhan celebrates “liberation,” a headache has a long history, possible dog meat ban, and restaurants raise (then lower) prices:
Travel restrictions have been lifted on Wuhan, the city that was the original center of the Covid-19 outbreak.
A Guangzhou man who came to visit relatives in Wuhan prior to the city’s lockdown found himself facing a parking bill of 2,310 RMB after he was finally allowed to leave the city.
On April 8, the first day after the lockdown was lifted, a Siberian weasel came out to enjoy the slow return to life on Wuhan’s usually bustling Jianghan Road (and perhaps beg for some food).
In Wuhan, a pair of curtains left hanging out of an open apartment window, which had become famous through a series of videos showing the red cloth billowing through the changing seasons during the lockdown, have finally been pulled inside as the apartment’s owner has been allowed to return to the city.
A draft policy proposal by China’s Ministry of Agriculture excluded dogs from a list of 31 animals listed as livestock for human consumption. The Ministry explained that dogs are “special companion animals,” and their consumption would be banned should the proposal become law.
The governments of a number of African countries have complained about alleged mistreatment of their nationals in relation to Covid-19 measures in Guangzhou. They accused authorities in the city of targeting black communities with forced quarantine, and evicting black individuals from their homes and hotels. China’s Foreign Ministry has denied there is any discriminatory treatment.
Abuse of power
Allegations that a prominent businessman raped his teenage foster daughter over a period of three years surfaced last week. The victim also claimed her allegations against Bao Yuming, who has held senior roles at ZTE, among other positions, were ignored by police in Beijing and Yantai multiple times, prompting anger from netizens. Bao has denied the claims, and police say they are still investigating.
Covid tax rescinded
Chinese restaurant chains Haidilao and Xibei both apologized last week after customers complained of rising prices after reopening. The companies admitted the price hikes had been “wrong” and promised to reinstate the same prices as before the coronavirus outbreak, though some commentators online suggest it is reasonable for the badly hit restaurant industry to adjust prices.
Fired under quarantine
A man surnamed Liu was fired for failing to show up to work after a business trip to Shenyang—because he was under mandatory self-quarantine after returning to Beijing, as per the rules of his residential community. His employer apparently did not believe the quarantine was mandatory, and Liu is currently considering legal action.
Hole in the head
A 76-year-old man from the northwestern Qinghai province was transferred for surgery in a Shandong hospital after discovering the cause of his persistent headaches was a 10-centimeter blade remnant that had become lodged in his head from a stab wound received 26 years earlier.
Money or your wife
A man in Sichuan province was fined 200 RMB for stopping illegally and dangerously on the side of a highway, allegedly because his wife asked him to transfer her some money.
Bao Li, a Peking University student who attempted suicide last October following sustained psychological abuse from her then boyfriend, was declared dead on April 11 after months in a coma. Mou Linhan had allegedly chastised Bao for not being a virgin when they met, told her to get pregnant and then have an abortion, and asked her to get a tattoo of the words “I am Mou Linhan’s dog,” among other abuses. Peking University has rescinded Mou’s admission to their graduate program, but it’s unclear if he will face any other consequences.
Cover image by Dibyendu Ash / CC BY-SA