Beidou vs. GPS, vegetable fashion show, Thanksgiving controversy, Tibetan heartthrob—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, there are protests against an abusive professor, vegetable fashion show, Thanksgiving controversy, and a Tibetan heartthrob:
Protest against professor
Over 3,000 people have signed an open letter protesting Wuhan University of Technology’s apparent reinstatement of Wang Pan, a professor who was accused of psychologically abusing Tao Chongyuan, a master’s student under his supervision, leading to Tao’s suicide in 2018. The university had banned Wang from supervising master’s students after the incident, but published his name recently on a (now deleted) list of professors available to supervise postgraduates.
Tamdrin, also known as Ding Zhen, a 20-year old Tibetan man from Litang county, Sichuan province, became famous online for his good looks, with slow-motion videos of him splashing water on his face and smiling into the camera garnering millions of views. He has even been given a job promoting tourism his local area. Because of Tamdrin’s Tibetan ethnicity and his suggestion that he wants to visit Lhasa, many netizens assumed he was from the Tibet Autonomous Region, an error which Sichuanese media are trying to put right with the hashtag “Ding Zhen comes from Sichuan.”
Fourth grader’s patent
Nine-year-old Pan Junsong from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, has received a patent for his new backpack design for students that includes five marked compartments that can be opened from the top and side. He hopes the pack “can help students improve their studies.”
A student surnamed Li at Jilin Railway Vocational and Technology College performed “face changing” for his shocked classmates in their dormitory. Li learn the skill, which is part of traditional Sichuanese opera, from his grandfather, and has performed around town to make money for his college fees.
Sleeping and sliding
A 3-year-old boy in Zhangjiakou, Hebei province, fell asleep while snowboarding and was filmed being dragged along the snow by his father. According to his mother, the boy was too excited to sleep the night before.
A group of seniors with an average age of 80 put on a harvest “fashion show” in a video shot in Linyi, Shandong province, appearing with pumpkins, corn, peppers, and other local produce. Ms. Zhang, who shot the video, says she wanted to entertain the often bored seniors, many of whom live alone.
Age of Beidou
China’s Beidou Navigation System has surpassed America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) in satellite consistency in the capitals of 165 out of 195 countries, according to data from US satellite receiver company Trimble, with reports of marked improvements to smartphone navigation in Addis Ababa that allows for more accurate food delivery.qa
Consumer electronics brand Xiaomi executive Wang Mei resigned after declaring at an industry event that the company’s future success depends on selling to diaosi (屌丝), a slang term describing young men lacking economic or romantic prospects. Some in the customer base found the remark derisive, and Wang has apologized for her “inappropriate remarks.”
Unlimited phone plan
A woman in Shanxi province discovered that her monthly mobile phone plan, which she started in 2018, will go on for 833 years, expiring in 2851. Unable to change the contract with her telecom company, the woman went to court to resolve the dispute. The two parties eventually came to a settlement, although specific details have not been disclosed.
A student at Harbin Institute of Technology threatened to report his dormitory’s manager for offering students chocolates for Thanksgiving, stating that he thought it was inappropriate to celebrate Western festivals. The institute later responded that the manager had given the chocolates out of kindness, but the student’s criticism was also borne of kindness. School management also made it clear that they did not promote foreign festivals with religious elements on campus and prohibit religious activities.
Cover image from VCG