Miners trapped, delivery worker self-immolates, Huawei heir seeks stardom, and dog entranced by roast duck—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, rescuers rush to rescue trapped miners, a delivery driver self-immolates in protest of working conditions, a Huawei heir enters the entertainment industry, and a dog is enchanted by roast duck:
Ray of hope
Rescuers have made contact with a group of miners trapped in a mine explosion in Qixia, Shandong province, who sent up a note this morning via a rescue shaft stating they were exhausted and in need of urgent medical supplies. The explosion on January 10 left over 20 miners trapped underground, and the company apparently waited 30 hours to report the miners missing. The party secretary and mayor of Qixia have been removed from their posts and placed under investigation.
Delivery under fire
A delivery driver for takeout platform Ele.me set himself on fire on a street in Taizhou, Jiangsu province, saying he wanted money he is owed for his work. Bystanders reacted quickly to extinguish the fire, and the man was taken to the hospital.
The exploitative working conditions of China’s delivery workforce had already sparked controversy after it emerged that a driver, also working for Ele.me, died suddenly on the job in late December. The company initially offered just 2,000 RMB in compensation to the driver’s family as he was not a contracted employee, but took orders through Ele.me’s “crowdsourced” delivery platform Fengniao.
A tale of two sisters
The contrasting lives of the two daughters of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei sparked online debate after Annabel Yao, the younger of the two, entered the entertainment industry via a glamorous photoshoot last week. Meng Wanzhou, the elder, is under house arrest in Canada. Many questioned whether Yao deserved the media attention, arguing that she not yet shown any talent.
Abuse of local power
Wang Chenming, a community director official in Dalian, Liaoning province, was removed from her position after a viral video showed her refusing to fill in her personal information before entering a residential compound as required by pandemic control measures. Wang called her subordinate Lu Xianbao, who lived in the community, to have the volunteers collecting the data let her in, and then broke in when the volunteers refused Lu’s request.
A 73-year-old man in Anhui province was sentenced to three years in prison and three years of probation for poisoning 22 dogs in his residential community. The man mixing rat poison with food and placing it in a public square. He claimed that the barking of dogs at night made it impossible for him to rest, as he suffered from high blood pressure and heart disease.
Walking into a trap
A 31-year-old man just released from prison was re-arrested after sending a jinqi (锦旗, brocade banner) as a thank-you gift to the police. The officers had helped the man obtain an ID card and register a permanent residence after his release. However, when a photo of him giving the gift was sent around the police department, another officer recognized the man as a suspect in a motorcycle theft case from seven years ago, and summoned him for the case.
In Langfang, Hebei, where comprehensive Covid-19 testing is underway as new cases pop up all over the province, scavengers apparently threw a batch of nucleic acid test samples in the trash because they wanted to sell the cardboard container they were stored in. Residents in the area had to queue for hours to do their test again.
Join hands and make up
Two boys in an argument were made to stand together and hold hands in front of their class by the headmaster of their high school in Xi’an, Shaanxi province. The tension between the boys was relieved amid roars of laughter from their classmates.
A viral video of a golden retriever squatting before a rotating display of hanging roast ducks for over 20 minutes captivated netizens, who asked the dog’s owner to open a livestreaming account for his pet so that they could send virtual gifts to buy the dog a duck.
Cover Image from VCG