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, school and consumption resume across China, Wuhanese get paid to shop, and pandas get delicious names. There’s a conflict between charities, and a mysterious death at a construction site:
Back to school
Students across the country are heading back to school after Covid-19, but a boy in Sichuan province forgot the way to his classroom during his long absence. “I was in the first grade a long time ago,” he was filmed crying and telling a parent who asked him which class he belonged to.
Meanwhile, to prepare for the school’s reopening, dorm workers at Yangzhou University aired out nearly 10,000 quilts on students’ behalf.
Paid to shop
Wuhan’s government is giving out 500 million RMB’s worth in “consumption coupons,” with 18 million RMB in coupons especially for low-income residents, to be used for food delivery, shopping malls, supermarkets, convenience stores, and cultural sports tourism, in order to revive business after the pandemic.
Death at construction site
Authorities in Henan are investigating the suffocation deaths of four children found buried in a pile of dirt at an illegal construction site, which has been declared a criminal case. Seven people are under investigation from the project team, which had been ordered to halt construction three days before the discovery of the bodies.
Protest during pandemic
A woman surnamed Ying in Xiaogan, a Hubei city hit hard by Covid-19, has been arrested for organizing close to 100 of her neighbors in protest against their property management company for allegedly overcharging on deliveries of food and necessities during the pandemic. Though authorities say Ms. Ying endangered their epidemic control efforts, netizens are calling for them to address whether the property management property really did abuse their power during the shutdown.
Kiss of contagion
A furniture factory in Jiangsu province held a “kissing competition” to celebrate work resumption after the Covid-19 outbreak. Though the company claimed most of the participants were couples, and were separated by a sterile glass, netizens criticized the activity for being in poor taste and inappropriate during a pandemic.
Employees of crowdfunding websites Qingsongchou and Shuidichou got in a physical altercation at a hospital in Hebei province. Though the companies denied reports that their employees were competing for clients, saying the fight was due to a personal disagreement, the incident sparked discussion on the profit-seeking business models behind many online charities.
Twin cubs at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the world’s first captive giant pandas born this year, have been named “Reganmian (Hot Dry Noodles)” and “Danhonggao (Egg Cake)” after two well-known snacks of Wuhan and Chengdu in order to show solidarity with the formerly Covid-19 stricken city.
A video of a Bengal tiger walking in a perfect circle in a small cage at the Beijing Zoo worried netizens, who called for the zoo to investigate whether the tiger suffered depression.
An environmental assessment report on Shenzhen Bay issued by Chinese Academy of Sciences’ South China Sea Institute of Oceanology was found to be plagiarized as the text contained 35 mentions of “Zhanjiang,” an entirely different city, which the author apparently forgot to remove.
A man surnamed Zhou, who went viral online in 2012 for declaring after getting caught stealing electric bikes “Working for someone else will never be an option for me,” has recently been released after serving his time, and saw agents from over 30 internet companies swamp his village offering him contracts in livestreaming and other related business.
A hospital director in Chengdu was dismissed after he allegedly fired a female nurse who refused his dinner invitation. The hospital decided that the director had acted inappropriately by inviting staff to dinner outside of working hours.
Cover image from NeedPix