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, cats in ancient clothing, consulates close, a thief ruins his own heist, and actors “steal tears”:
A woman in her 20s captured the internet by quitting her big city job, moving back to her hometown, and making up to 70,000 RMB a month by opening an online store—designing and sewing hanfu, a traditional Chinese garment—for cats.
Zhejiang University was criticized for allowing a student convicted of rape to continue studying his undergraduate degree, after only one year of probation. Following an online outcry (the hashtag related to incident has been viewed over 100 million times on Weibo), the university announced it will review the decision.
The Xi’an Physical Education University came under fire for an admissions poster that allegedly resembled a porn website, using phrases such as, “Sexy web editor online chat to answer your questions,” “Real instructors,” and “Heart-throbbing/arousing phone hotline.”
A video showing villagers in flooded Anhui province running errands using plastic washtubs, rickshaws, and an assortment of creative barges elicited the shock and sympathy of netizens, who pleaded, “Please God, stop the rain.”
Crocodile gaokao tears
Millions of netizens were moved by emotional videos showing young women telling their fathers that they’ve just been accepted to prestigious Tsinghua University—falling to their knees on the street, or sitting by hospital beds—until someone pointed out that the same actors appeared in every video. Accused of “cheating people’s tears,” the creator responded: “Aren’t you all crying over K-dramas every day anyway? How is this any different? I’m just trying to emit positive energy into the world. Young people should know to be grateful to their parents.”
The US consulate in Chengdu officially closed today, with the US flag lowered for the last time. Chinese authorities ordered the closure in retaliation for the US decision to shut down the Chinese consulate in Houston last week. The closure of the Chengdu mission was livestreamed by CCTV, and watched by thousands of patriotic Chinese.
My home’s a star
A TV viewer from Hangzhou was surprised to spot her own property in two recent TV shows. Ms. Lin purchased an 800-square meter villa in 2015 in her hometown of Ningbo, but has left it vacant ever since. Lin is suing the property management and TV production companies for damages, and using the property without consent.
Canoe Rescue Act
A retired canoe athlete carried out a textbook 27-second rescue of a man who fell into the fast flowing Yellow River in Henan province.
A burglar in Jinan, Shandong, who had perhaps watched too many action movies, attempted to stun a home owner with a karate chop to the neck, but only successed in waking the already-sleeping victim, who then called the police. The burglar was apprehended as he tried to flee.
Master of mockery
A video of a martial arts “master” easily defeating multiple opponents using just a Chinese writing brush as a weapon drew much attention online, mainly because the “fight” was quite obviously staged. Later, the “master” claimed his performance was actually meant to mock similar staged fights, while the police are now investigating the unauthorized competition.
Long time romantic
A man from Qinghai moved netizens nationwide after he shared a proposal video for his girlfriend which took him three years to make. The man, named Yang Pei, recorded different moments of his life together with his other half, Wang Yuanyuan, and asked at the end of each scene, “Wang Yuanyuan, will you marry me?” The unique proposal won Wang’s heart and she said yes.
Living from work
An internet education company in Beijing came under fire for taking overtime to a new extreme after images of tents in the office and slogans to encourage staff to work all day and night were shared online. The company then claimed the tents were only for staff to use during breaks in the day, but further images later emerged showing the office at night, with the tents apparently occupied by late-night workers.
Cover image from VCG