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Flaming mattress, 9-year-old debtor, slippery funeral, and tai chi recognized by UNESCO—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, tai chi is recognized by UNESCO, a mattress goes up in flames, a 9-year-old inherits debt, and mask skeptics get caked:

Mask vigilante

A man in Qiqiha’er, Heilongjiang province, was filmed throwing cake into the faces of people on the street who refused to wear a face mask. Angry netizens criticized the man for going too far in his attempts to encourage mask-wearing, and for wasting food. The man later apologized and explained that the victims in his videos were all actors.

Bed of flames

A man in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, set fire to an old mattress inside his apartment because it was too difficult to carry it downstairs and throw it away. The man’s neighbors called the fire brigade, who found the man unharmed but with a totally blackened face from the smoke.

Lantern safety

The fire department in Leshan, Sichuan province, warned viewers of TV drama To Love about fire safety on Weibo after an episode showing a character played by star actor Lin Gengxin lighting a kongming lantern in a grassy field with power lines overhead. “Don’t let your romance become others’ disaster,” the fire brigade implored the public.

Tai chi recognized

Chinese martial art taijiquan, also known as tai chi, was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last Thursday. China now has 42 intangible cultural heritage items on UNESCO’s list, the greatest number of any country in the world. 

Inappropriate principal

A middle school principal in Shanxi province has been detained for beating a female student suspected of having a sexual relationship with a male student, and forcing her to write a “confession” with graphic details of the relationship. Beijing News reports that the principal has also been accused of beating five male students who had snuck into the female dormitory, and that he had been a suspect in the murder of his wife 20 years ago.

Debts of our fathers

A court in Henan province apologized for a “consumption restriction” imposed on a 9-year-old girl that prevented her from buying railway and flight tickets, due to debts she inherited from her father. The girl’s father was executed for murdering his wife and mother-in-law in 2012, after the two refused to sell their house to pay off his gambling debts. The court issued a statement vowing to make the protection of minors a priority.

Drones blacklisted

DJI was one of 60 companies added to the Entity List of the US Department of Commerce. US companies are typically banned from exporting technology to blacklisted companies, which already include Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Also new to the list are China’s SMIC, a semiconductor manufacturer; AGCU Scientech, which provides forensic identification; and the Kuang-Chi Group, an aerospace and AI developer.

Good driver

A taxi driver surnamed Ai in Dongguan, Guangdong province, ignored three red lights in order to get a sick child to the hospital. The child’s parents, however, refused to give a statement about the incident to the police, making Mr. Ai liable for an 18-point deduction on his license and a hefty fine. Police were able to verify Mr. Ai’s story via CCTV, and he is set to avoid punishment.

Imposter divorce

A judge in Sichuan province has been suspended for ruling in a divorce case in which the wife was replaced by an imposter in court hearings. The case is being reheard, and the imposter has been detained and fined.

Funeral on ice

A viral video from Guizhou province showed a funeral procession of over a dozen men carrying a coffin and gliding about 100 feet as they proceeded down an icy hill. Luckily, nobody was injured.

Cover image from VCG

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