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Robot rickshaws, bad Universal ad, senior fashion icon, and company loyalty test-—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, robots pull rickshaws, Universal Studios Beijing makes a bad ad, an octogenarian becomes a fashion icon, and a boss enforces a loyalty test:

Unequal access

Shaanxi Normal University was accused of discrimination after they denied Wu Xiao, a visually impaired graduate school applicant, the opportunity to take entrance exams for an applied psychology program. A message from the university’s admission office claimed that none of their courses were suitable given Wu’s “special situation,” and that they could not provide accommodation for her.

Bad taste is Universal

The Universal Studios Beijing theme park, scheduled to open in May 2021, released a new commercial last week via its Weibo account featuring shoddy footage similar to those found on Kuaishou, a livestreaming app popular in rural areas. The advert, featuring amateur-ish dancers jumping around against crude CGI backgrounds, prompted much criticism of Universal’s PR team online.

Loyalty test

Staff at a Guangzhou-based company faced an unusual request from their supervisor, Xu Bo, who asked them all to accept a 10 percent pay cut despite good performances and increased profits. According to employees, Xu was testing their loyalty, as he had done last year when he required staff to transfer him a red packet (hongbao) of 100 to 500 RMB, and later gave each employee their own bonus of ten times the amount they had sent to him. Currently, 93 percent of employees have applied for the salary cut.

Unsafe smoking

A safety expert invited to lecture at Shenyang Normal University received students’ ire by listing homosexuality and “girls smoking” alongside “sexual promiscuity” and “drugs” as undesirable behaviors on campus. The university denied that the lecturer used any discriminatory language, and stated she was “not promoting” certain behaviors.

Always in fashion

Mr. Kang, an 83-year-old retired college professor in Wuhan, became famous online for sharing his daily outfits and fashion tips. He explained that he hopes to inspire other retirees to enjoy life the same way he does.

Running woman

In Urumqi, Xinjiang, a woman’s boss and colleagues shoot footage of her dramatic sprint to work every morning in order to arrive on time. The woman says that the excitement of seeing her run inspires other colleagues to arrive at work even earlier to watch her daily race from the office window.

Rickshaw 3.0

Viral roadside footage from Tangshan, Hebei province, shows a man riding a rickshaw pulled by a robot in a suit, plodding forward stiffly on two legs with a mannequin-like face.

Noisy neighbor

A man in Taiyuan, Shanxi, has driven his neighbors to despair with his habit of hitting the banisters in the stairway of his apartment block with a hammer every night. Half the residents of the block have moved out already because of the racket. The local authorities expalined that the man suffered from mental health issues, but no solution has been found to stop the banging yet.

Language prodigies

Six primary school students in Chengdu, Sichuan province, won praise for hosting their school’s sports festival in six different languages, including Chinese, English, Japanese, Spanish, German, and French, though not all netizens felt there was much point to the exercise, since only Chinese was necessary for the audience.

Cover image from VCG


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