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Positive Pokémon, mandatory apartment, pad-sharing, and law on minor protection—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, China amends its Law on the Protection of Minors, there’s a new best math department in town, Pokémon names are (maybe) censored, and man is forced to buy apartment on tour:

Best at math

The latest edition of the US News College Ranking has named the math department of Qufu Normal University in Shandong province as the pinnacle of Chinese math higher education and research, above top institutions like Peking University and Tsinghua University, revealing a possible data-faking scandal or flaws in the ranking system.

Sex ed legislation

An amended Law on the Protection of Minors holds schools responsible for educating minors about sexual issues, and background checks on teachers, among 60 new clauses to the law that will enter into effect on June 1, 2021.

Positive Pokémon

The Pokémon Company announced that six Pokémon have been renamed for the Chinese market, turning “Hooligan Panda” (流氓熊猫) into “Domineering Panda” (霸道熊猫), and removing the word “death” from the names of ghost-type Pokémon. Chinese fans are conjecturing that these “positive energy” names are meant to appease Chinese censors, as the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games have not yet been given permission for release on the mainland.

Apartment tour

Upon arriving in Weihai, Shandong province, for a two-day package tour, Changsha resident Mr. Yao discovered it was organized by a property agency, which did not allow him to sleep or leave his hotel room until he paid the down payment of over 123,000 RMB for a new apartment. The agency later told Mr. Yao he could contact the developer for a refund.

Sharing pads

A female college student in Shanghai has placed sanitary pads in boxes in toilets around campus, allowing students to take a pad whenever they need and put a new one in the box later. These boxes are placed in conspicuous locations in order to oppose “period-shaming,” and have inspired a trend of similar boxes at other universities in China.

Lights off

A college junior in Hangzhou invented an apparatus that will turn off the lights in his dormitory without anyone having to getting out of bed on cold nights: a simple push of a syringe that activates a lever connected to the light switch.


An official from Wanning, Hainan province, roused public indignation for commenting, “There are too many ‘unruly people,’ and it’s the media like you who encourage them,” during a TV interview. The official has since apologized for his comment.

Scare ’em straight

A post-90s man in Zhejiang province has been making scary videos for parents to show their children in order to make them sleep, take their medicine, and do their homework.

Senior crawl

A 91-year-old retiree has attracted a group of seniors to practice an exercise he invented called the “Turtle-Snake Crawl,” drawing stares and snickers from other visitors to the Guangzhou park. Some practitioners report improvements to their neck, back, and waist pain after a year of practice, but doctor commented that it’s not suitable for those with heart and lung problems.

Cover image from VCG


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