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, drink company hires for life, TV panders to the male gaze, a man is injured by a bathhouse scrub, and bears drift in the flood:
Indentured for life
The scandal-ridden Coconut Palm Group, China’s biggest producer of natural plant protein drinks, sparked new controversy with its latest recruitment ad for managers, which required candidates to promise lifelong commitment to the job with their home as collateral. The company has since apologized for violating China’s labor law.
A Mr. Li from an unidentified part of southern China called the police after experiencing a wash in a traditional bathhouse in Benxi in the northeastern Liaoning province, saying the attendant scrubbed his leg so hard that some of the skin peeled off. Though the attendant had to compensate Li 100 RMB for the injury, many netizens berated him for not understanding the communal bath culture of the north.
Made for men
Netizens criticized Hunan TV for objectifying women in their coverage of a musical gala, with camera angles showing typically lower views for female perfomers and wide eye-level shots for men. A hashtag related to the controversy has been viewed over 400 million times on Weibo.
Have you seen this bear?
One of two statues of Japanese mascot Kumamon, normally found at the entrance of Chongqing’s Longmenhao Old Street, has been found over a kilometer from home after being carried away by floodwater last week. Staff at the tourist attraction are calling for help to find the other statue, last spotted floating in the Yangtze River over 200 kilometers downstream from Chongqing.
Following last week‘s restaurant weighing customers, the government’s anti-food waste campaign has continued to see over-enthusiastic responses.
A high school in Leiyang, Hunan province, announced it will fine students 100 RMB and disqualify them from scholarships according to the weight of their leftover food, claiming that students waste a daily average of 100 grams of food.
Meanwhile, a Shanghai consulting firm issued a notice that its employees will be fired if found not finishing their food three times.
A sudden downpour in the Hugu Valley Mountain in Liaoning province led to multiple injuries and one death as tourists began slipping and colliding with one another on the scenic area’s 3,230-foot glass slide, normally used as an easy way for visitors to descend the mountain.
In Yongzhou, Hunan province, four seniors exercising by pedaling shared bikes parked inside their dock have polarized opinions. Some netizens criticized their vandalism, while others thought it was an ingenius way of saving money for gym.
A 88-year-old woman in Guangdong province died after tripping and falling over a dog’s leash. The dog walker, a 12-year-old girl, had taken her neighbor’s dog out without its owner’s knowledge, then lost control of the canine. The deceased woman’s family says it will not hold the girl or owner responsible for the incident, which has been deemed an accident by the local government.
Stall owners at a marketplace in Guizhou were scammed out of around 5,000 RMB by a man who broke into the market at night and replaced numerous QR codes used for mobile payments with his own. Police tracked the criminal down to a hotel room, were they arrested him and found tens of additional QR codes.
River of regret
Jumping into a river in despair after a breakup, a young woman in Sichuan province regretted her rash actions, and found a bamboo rod with which she drifted downriver for 81 kilometers for more than four hours before being rescued.
While the school he worked at remained closed due to Covid-19, a cafeteria cook in Henan province surnamed Wang decided to amuse himself making 10-second stop-motion films with bean spouts, aided by family members who gamely ate the sprouts after every filming session.
A video showing a pet dog offering a baozi (stuffed bun) to a stray cat has won the hearts of netizens around China.
Cover image from VCG