Binary suns, quiet carriage, livestream limits, and housewife discrimination—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 spooky Halloween weekend, two suns appeared in the sky, a training center was lambasted for celebrating the holiday, China mulled a cap on livestreamer tips, and a housewife faced discrimination:
Double the sun
Two suns were visible in the sky in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, on Wednesday morning at around 9 a.m., prompting some netizens to jokingly call for the legendary archer Hou Yi to shoot one down. Meteorologists says it was an optical illusion caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere reflecting the sunlight.
The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will be offering a “quiet carriage” where passengers will have to switch their phones to vibrate or silent mode, and take their phone calls outside the carriage. Passengers who are willing to follow protocols will be able to choose the quiet carriage when purchasing their tickets online. Though most Chinese netizens are supportive of the move, some worry it might give passengers the false impression that they don’t need to be quiet in the other carriages.
Boo for Halloween
A parent in Mianyang, Sichuan province, marched into an academic enrichment center holding a Halloween activity to accuse the staff of “failing to transmit positive energy (正能量),” a popular catchword for patriotic spirit, by celebrating a western holiday. “You say you love your country, but you even have a Christmas tree!” he shouted.
Night at the convenience store
Surveillance videos of a 10-year-old boy in Shanghai, who got locked inside a convenience store during a game of hide-and-seek, have gone viral. Footage shows him dancing, opening bags of snacks, and trying to fit himself into shopping baskets as the night wore on. The boy has since been reunited with his family.
New proposed regulations for China’s livestreaming industry include a cap on rewards and a “cool-off period” which delays transfers for large tips, following numerous scandals and lawsuits involving minors who have impulsively donated large sums of their parents’ money to their favorite stars.
High school principal Zhang Guimei, well-known for her decades of dedication to girls’ education in rural Yunnan, caused a heated debate after revealing in an interview that she had rudely refused a donation from a former student who had become a stay-at-home mother. Though some netizens supported Zhang’s explanation that she wished to set a better example of financial independence for her students, others criticized her discriminatory attitude and refusal of a donation that could have benefited many students.
A hospital in Shanghai was criticized for withholding the death certificate of a college student who died in 2003 due to unpaid bills owed by his mother, leading the body to languish in the mortuary for 17 years. Though local health authorities finally issued the certificate in 2019, the mother, Ms. Li, still cannot retrieve the body for cremation due to bills owed to the mortuary.
Bumps on the road
A 300-meter road equipped with 298 speed bumps in Changsha has been resurfaced two days after construction due to complaints from drivers. Local traffic police said that the contractor had installed the bumps to “slow vehicles down and mitigate safety risks.”
A 36-year-old man surnamed Liu was discovered to have been living in a cave in Qingdao, Shandong province, for the last seven to eight years. Liu claims to have been trying to live a quiet life in order to cure a heart condition without medical assistance.
Rules of the street
A “street basketball” game in Sushe village, Guangxi, descended into a rugby-like free-for-all scrimmage, with the players (and the referee) seeming to ignore all the rules. Sushe resident Luo Meilan explained that none of the villagers know the rules of basketball, so they were just playing for fun.
Cover image from VCG