Viral Week is our weekly round-up of the weekend’s trending memes, humor, rumor, gossip, and everything else Chinese netizens are talking about.
This week, Tesla is in trouble for abusing police power to resolve a customer compliant, a tiger wanders into a village, ancient cat-paw ornaments intrigue museum-goers, and one of China’s oldest universities turns 110:
Tesla calls police to detain consumer
Tesla has come under heated criticism for calling the police to detain a female consumer for five days for “disturbing public order,” after she climbed onto a display vehicle at a car show to protest against the company’s failure to resolve a brake issue with her car. The company’s apology failed to convince netizens, as they perceived it as insincere.
Tsinghua’s 110th anniversary
China’s top-ranked Tsinghua University celebrates its 110th anniversary this week, and raised eyebrows with some dance performances which netizens have deemed as “tacky” and not in keeping with the school’s prestigious image. Founded on April 29, 1911, as Tsing Hua Imperial College, as a preparatory academy for students sent by government scholarships to study in the US, the school counted prominent scholars like Liang Qichao (梁启超) and Wang Guowei (王国维) among its early faculty.
Tiger comes to Chinese village
A wild Siberian tiger wandered into a village in Heilongjiang province, attacking one woman and breaking a car window before it was caught by wildlife officials. It is estimated there are only around 270 Siberian tigers left in the wild in northeastern China.
Proof of ancient Chinese cat-lovers?
Four 2,700-years-old cat-paw shaped ornaments, currently on display in a museum in Shanxi, became viral due to their adorable appearance. A total of five such ornaments were unearthed last year from a Zhou dynasty tomb (1046 – 256 BCE) at the Beibai’e Cemetery Site. While some netizens said they were proof of “China’s age-old cat-loving tradition,” experts have yet to confirm whether the artifacts were really based on feline paws.
Woman’s 13-year-old stock soars in value
A 67-year-old resident in Dalian, Liaoning province, went to a securities company’s office to reset the password of her account she had not accessed since 2008, only to find that a stock she bought at 50,000 RMB that year has soared in value to 5 million RMB.
Company demands criminal record check before paying funeral expenses
The Human Resources and Social Security Bureau of Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, has ordered the Lexi Human Resources Company to review their policy of asking survivors of deceased employee to submit a criminal record check before paying out the funeral expenses and pension. The Bureau ruled such a policy was illegal.
Bamboo shoots up from dormitory floor
A teacher in Hunan province started noticing cracks in the concrete floor of her dormitory bedroom—and recorded with amazement a bamboo shoot emerging from the ground, growing over the next four days to a height of 4 meters in her low-ceilinged bedroom.
Dog enjoys home appliances in owner’s absence
A now-viral clip from a home security camera shows a clever dog enjoying life in its owner’s absence: In the footage, the dog is seen pretending to sleep until its owner leaves the house. It then jumps up to unroll a bamboo mat, switches on a bedside fan at full speed, and shuts off the light, before finding the perfect spot on the mat to spread its limbs and cool down.
New guidelines for livestream hawkers
China’s internet regulator issued trial guidelines for the industry of selling goods via internet livestreaming in response to growing complaints from customers over scams and poor quality products. The guidelines, which will take effect on May 25, consist of four main points that aim to protect customers’ and personal data, and restrict underage users from the service.
Food delivery worker finds long-lost brother on takeout order
While out delivering a meal, a take-out worker in Foshan, Guangdong province recognized a homeless man by the side of the road as his long-lost elder brother. Like many people who live with severe mental illness in China, the elder brother was unable to find work after leaving home ten years ago, and had become homeless.
Merciful thief returns (some) money to elderly man
Surveillance footage from a bus shows a thief taking 8,000 RMB out of the pocket of an elderly man, then putting 7,500 RMB back. The thief was detained by police, in spite of his defense that he put the cash back because it might be “lifesaving money” for the old man.
Cover image from VCG