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, a collapsed restaurant kills 29, a newscaster eats a lonely dessert, parents force-feed child, a locked WeChat account leads to tragedy:
A restaurant in Shanxi province collapsed during a birthday party, leaving 29 dead and seven severely injured. The provincial government has sent a taskforce to investigate the collapse, amid suggestions that illegal construction could have been the cause.
A couple is being accused of child abuse for posting videos of feeding their 3-year-old daughter until she became severely overweight. Livestreaming platform Ixigua has shut down the parents’ account due to increasing public outrage, but the parents deny they were trying to make money from their videos, which could receive up to 550,000 views each.
A man in Shenzhen committed suicide by jumping from Tencent’s office building after he tried and failed to unlock his Wechat account, which had been reported for posting pornographic messages.
An association for the blind in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, discovered a 150-meter stretch of sidewalk with a tactile pavement for the visually impaired that pointlessly zig-zags around planted trees, despite ample space to put it in a straight line.
The loneliest lick
A video of former CCTV host Zhang Hongmin enjoying an ice cream by himself on the street earned around 600,000 likes and 40,000 comments within hours on short-video platform Douyin, with many viewers speculating whether the 60-year-old retiree is lonely for being single and childless.
Graduates at the grassroots
News of Tsinghua and Peking University graduates thronging to apply for jobs as community workers in the sub-district offices of Yuhang district, Hangzhou, has confused netizens, who feel that a degree from these prestigious universities should lead to a more prominent post. The district has been providing housing subsidies and high salaries to attract highly educated candidates for grassroots-level government positions, which social experts suggest will lead to improvements in local governance.
Zhou Wenjuan, a beautician from Yongzhou in Hunan province, has gone viral for providing free makeup services to rural women in their 40s in her hometown, many of whom have never used cosmetics before.
A woman surnamed Zhang in Hengshui, Hebei province, has been making elaborate dresses out of leaves, vines, and flowers for her daughter-in-law to model. Ms. Zhang and her neighbors have been making these leafy get-ups since June, and each dress takes two to three hours to make.
Pigs come home
A farmer in Hunan province has come up with an ingenious way to call thousands of his free-roaming pigs home for dinner: playing music over a loudspeaker.
Cover image from Flickr