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No flying for the depressed, fake Covid-19 nurse, ancient poetry rap, and China’s box office soars—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, a depressed passenger is denied boarding, a nurse’s identity is questioned, China’s box office soars, and a student raps ancient poetry:

Discriminatory boarding

Spring Airlines expressed regret after the carrier refused boarding to a female passenger with depression due to safety fears, leading the woman’s boyfriend to accuse the airline of discriminating against passengers with depression. The airline claimed the woman’s hands were visibly shaking before she boarded the flight—a side-effect of medication for her condition. In September, an Air China flight had to make an emergency landing after a passenger attempted suicide onboard.

Nursing under false pretenses

Yu Xinhui, a self-proclaimed nurse who won several honors for volunteering in the Covid-19 relief effort in Wuhan, was found to have faked her qualifications. Health authorities in Nantong, Jiangsu province, state that Yu has no license to practice nursing and does not work in her city’s public or private health system; instead, she has a desk job at a health clinic. Some netizens, though, are sympathetic, pointing out that Yu served in Wuhan for over 50 days during the worst of the pandemic.

Trippy tea

Police in Jiangsu province busted a marijuana dealing operation run by a university professor that sold the drug disguised as tea leaves. According to police, the teacher, surnamed Yan, and an associate made 500,000 RMB from the operation in just four months.

China’s box office has surpassed that of the US to become the largest film market in the world, valued at 1.93 billion USD to the US market’s 1.925 billion USD. Theaters in the US have remained shuttered for months, while Chinese audiences spent 585 million USD at theaters during the Golden Week national holiday from October 1 to 8.

Sick prank

A Mr. Bai from Shandong province used photo-editing software to change a screenshot of his nucleic acid test to show a positive result for Covid-19 and posted it to a WeChat group of his classmates as a joke. Due to recent cases of asymptomatic transmission in Shandong, the screenshot was widely shared and caused panic, and Bai was taken into administrative detention.

Celebrity scammers

A 61-year-old woman intended to divorce her husband after a user on Douyin claiming to be actor Jin Dong declared his feelings for her. According to a recent report in the Beijing News, scammers commonly pose as well-known figures, such as Alibaba founder Jack Ma or respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan, in order to trick middle aged and elderly fans into sending them money or buying products they recommend.

Poetic rap

Li Wenjie, a high school senior in Haikou, Hainan province, has gone viral for reciting the famous Tang essay “Ode to the Epang Palace” in the form of a rap song.

Playing with firecrackers

A mischievous boy in Gansu province was sent soaring into the air after he set off firecrackers on a drain cover. Luckily, the child was uninjured.

Kid cleared

A police officer in Chongqing cleared the name of a 10-year-old boy accused of scratching his neighbor’s Audi. Though the boy had denied any wrongdoing, his father had already paid 3,500 RMB in compensation to the car’s owner based on a security footage showing his son playing around the car. After three days of reviewing the security tapes, the officer determined that the scratch was preexisting.

Cover image from VCG


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