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, a snobbish teacher is removed from post, a divorce court orders compensation for housework, 3 RMB noodles cause a stir, and there are plans for a new train line for pineapples:
Teacher compares students’ wealth
A middle school teacher in Tianjin has had her teaching credentials revoked after voice recordings showed her comparing the wealth of her students’ parents, telling one pupil, “How much do your parents make in a month? Don’t blame me if I look down on you…[Another student’s] mother makes more in a year than yours does in 50 years…All my previous students’ parents were high officials or wealthy businesspeople; only this year’s students are ordinary citizens.”
Man must pay ex-wife for chores
A divorce court in Beijing ruled that a man must compensate his ex-wife 50,000 RMB for five years of housework. The ruling was partly based on the Marriage and Family chapter of China’s new Civil Code, implemented on January 1, which states that the spouse has the right to compensation in a divorce if they take more responsibility for raising their children or caring for elderly members of the family. Many netizens complained that the amount of compensation was too small compared to how much a live-in nanny would have earned.
Shandong stalls sells 3 yuan noodles
Cheng Yunfu, a 39-year-old noodle stall owner in Shandong province, has gone viral for his extraordinarily low prices—just 3 RMB (0.46 USD) per bowl—that have remained unchanged for 15 years. Dubbed “Ramen Brother” by netizens, Cheng has been vexed by the hundreds of fans and reporters who are now flocking to see him from across the country.
Factories unable to recruit
Clothing factory owners in a Guangdong labor market lined up to recruit potential workers returning after the Spring Festival—a reversal of a common sight of the last few decades, where crowds of workers competed to get jobs at factories. Mrs. Li, an employer, said that it’s increasingly hard to attract young workers for full-time work in the textile industry, and believes they prefer the freedom and flexible hours of temporary jobs.
Village of “rude” surnames
A village in Zhoukou, Henan province, has gone viral for due to the unique surname shared by over 100 of its residents: 骂 (Mà), meaning “to curse.” This amusing fact was discovered when a villager, Ma Jianhang (骂建行), was allegedly rejected for a job with a property management company due to his name, which could mean “Curse China Construction Bank.”
Mysterious death of a ride-hailing passenger
A 23-year-old woman surnamed Che in Changsha, Hunan province, died after jumping from the window of a moving van she called through ride-hailing company Huolala, sparking fresh anger over the lack of safety and security in the industry. The company has been slammed for its lack of safety measures, and Che’s family is seeking answers as to why the driver appeared to veer from the suggested route three times during the trip. The police have detained the driver, while Huolala has apologized to Che’s family and promised to improve its safety measures.
China’s high-speed rail opens “Pineapple Express”
A new high-speed rail service launching this March has been dubbed the “Pineapple Train” as it will be dedicated to shipping the fruit from Xuwen county of Guangdong province, which produces 40 percent of the China’s pineapples, to Lanzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, and cities in 14 provinces.
Cover image from VCG