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, selfies are banned, ballot boxes are smashed, hair dye scuppers a football team’s chances of glory, and beef soup competitors turn to dirty tactics:
A 70-year-old man has taken up to 43 roller coaster rides a day at Beijing’s Happy Valley Amusement Park for the past four years, amounting to around 8,000 rides in total, claiming that his riding regime helps him stay healthy.
A group of people stormed a voting station in Changsha, Hunan province, smashed ballot boxes, and left ballots strewn across a parking lot during a homeowners’ committee vote on whether to change their property management company. Voters suspected the current property management company was to blame.
No grounds for divorce?
A court in Shaanxi province rejected the divorce request of a woman who claims she was beaten and verbally abused by her husband for 40 years, insisting that the couple “cherish” their hard-won twilight years after their children have grown up and married. The woman’s husband admitted to some wrongdoing, but argued it was normal to “joke” with his wife, and emphasized that he had never been unfaithful.
Online trolls targeted a Miss Zhao in Chengdu after she contracted Covid-19, taking issue with the 20-year-old’s recent visits to several bars before she was sent to hospital and confirmed to have the virus on December 8.
Zhao spoke out the next day, saying that she had not known her grandmother had the virus before visiting the bars, and couldn’t understand the abuse as she was also a victim of Covid-19. Zhao explained that she worked for bars as a promoter and hostess, which did not stop cyberbullies from slut-shaming her for her supposed “loose morals.”
A women’s football team from Fuzhou University was disqualified from a provincial-level match because some of their players’ hair was “not black enough,” with multiple players violating a rule which requires that they not dye or curl their hair.
Coaching staff purchased black hair dye from nearby hair salons to meet the urgent need. However, one of the players from Fuzhou University was still ordered to leave the game. With less than seven players available, the minimum required according to tournament rules, Fuzhou forfeited the match.
Amid public outcry, local government authorities in Huanggang, Hubei province, apologized and rescinded fines of over 200 RMB for over the 24 households who had received the punishment after they purchased imported meat online from a batch that was found to contained the coronavirus.
Beef soup restaurant owner Mr. Yang of Xuchang, Henan province, suddenly received a huge influx of customers redeeming coupons allegedly from his restaurant offering a bowl of soup for 1 RMB and free meals for those aged over 60. Mr. Yang suspected this was a malicious move by his competitors, and offered 5,000 RMB for anyone who has information on the coupons’ origin. In the meantime, he has refused to turn away any customers and already sustained nearly 8,000 RMB of losses.
Residents in an apartment building in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, had their water cut off by the village committes after two tenants were arrested on charges of prostitution. The water ban will apparently last for three months, triggering heated discussion on whether the government has overreacted.
Denial of the selfie
Vendors renting ancient and ethnic minority-style costumes to tourists in Fenghuang, Hunan province, attempted to forbid a group of customers from taking their own photos of themselves, insisting that they needed to pay for a photographer instead. During a heated argument caught on camera, the irate seller exclaims: “Your camera is nothing, mine cost 13,000 RMB!”
A netizen on Weibo “rediscovered” a giant headless Buddha statue on a cliff below residential buildings in Nan’an district, Chongqing. According to the local government, the statue was chiseled on the cliff wall in an unknown year, and was first discovered around 1950. It has been listed as an “immovable cultural relic” after evaluation by archeological experts.
Cover image from VCG