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Viral Week Ep. 249

One-armed boy wows NBA stars, sanitation worker takes revenge, man’s best friend gets a road safety upgrade—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, man’s best friend gets a road safety upgrade, sanitation workers take revenge, a one-armed boy wows NBA stars, and farmers learn to shuffle:

One-armed wonder

Zhang Jiacheng, a one-armed 13-years-old boy from Guangdong province, has wowed netizens and NBA stars with videos showing his lightning-fast dribbling ability. Zhang, who lost his arm in an accident when he was 5, has been invited to visit CBA team Guangdong Southern Tigers, and received a video message from Stephen Curry.

Hot dispute

A tourist to Chongqing surnamed Li got into a quarrel with a restaurant owner over green chili peppers in her order of huiguorou, or “twice-cooked pork.” Li had asked for “no spice,” but the owner insisted that the pepper was not spicy and that no self-respecting Chongqing chef would make huiguirou without it. Though Li later got a refund with the help of police, the restaurateur won many netizens’ support.

Benefit fraud

Ten able-bodied relatives of Lan Qingyan, Chairman of Du’an Disabled Persons’ Federation in Guangxi, including his wife and daughter, were found to have received over 50,000 RMB in government subsidies for the disabled. Three other leaders of the organization were found to be involved in similar frauds. Lan has been fired and is under investigation.

Turning water into vinegar

A Shanxi middle school filled its canteen water coolers with vinegar for students to season their food with, apparently confirming the classic stereotype that Shanxi-ers consume vinegar as if it were water.

Middle school mimic

A 13-year-old boy from Heilongjiang province, who went viral for his spot-on imitations of grumpy schoolteachers, took down his videos after school officials encouraged him to spread more “positive energy” with his talents, leading to an outcry from netizens. The middle school student, identified as “Zhong Meimei,” later went back online with more flattering imitations of train attendants and community volunteers.

Dancing Couple

A Zhejiang farming couple in their 40s became famous after posting videos of them shuffle dancing together. When the wife, surnamed Peng, was prescribed exercise to help deal with anxiety, she learned shuffle dancing and encouraged her husband, who suffered from PTSD after a car accident, to join in. Choreographing their dances by adding gestures and moves from their daily life—like combing their hair, carrying farm goods, or imitating ducks waddling—the two have since gained over 337,000 followers on Douyin (TikTok).

Helmet hero

As Hangzhou prepares to enact fines for riding a motorcycle without a helmet, a man created makeshift protection for his dog by using an upside-down steel bowl tied with red packaging string on top of his canine sidekick’s head.

Sanitation worker’s revenge

In Qinzhou, Guangxi, surveillance cameras show a sanitation worker driving onto a sidewalk and dumping garbage in front of storefronts selling oysters—apparently, in retaliation for the businesses not properly separating their trash (oysters are supposed to be disposed of separately).

Ferrari flea market

Following the central government’s call to bring street vendors back to cities to promote post-pandemic economic recovery, a park in Kunming, Yunnan province, announced free spots for street vendors—with the only requirement being that vendors have a luxury car in order to sign up.

Cover image by Robert Ashworth from Bellingham, WA., USA / CC BY


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