China's space station astronauts take first space walk, red panda has four cubs, boy wears skirt to school, intricate tofu carvings amaze—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 talking about.
This week, car hailing platform Didi Chuxing meets regulator’s wrath, red panda gives birth to quadruplets, Didi banned from app stores, a boy in a skirt sparks debate at school, and China’s astronauts make their first space walk:
Didi banned from app stores
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Sunday that it has notified app stores to remove car-hailing platform Didi Chuxing due to “serious” violations of laws and regulations around the collection and use of personal information. The app still works, but can no longer be downloaded for new users. The move came just four days after Didi’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, which raised 4.4 billion USD.
Body cameras on Chinese astronaut Liu Boming shows the team leaving the Tiangong, China’s new space station, for the first time, slithering through a port to stand in the inky black universe with the earth as a picturesque backdrop. Liu and his colleague Tang Hongbo worked for seven hours on the station’s robotic arm, used to transfer equipment around the outside of the station.
Boy in skirt sparks debate
A 6-year-old boy caused a stir when he voluntarily wore a skirt to school. Another boy up-skirted him, while a teacher ticked him off for causing trouble, likened giving boys the “freedom” to wear skirts to the rampant spread of Covid-19 in the US. Many online comments, though, were supportive of the parents’ decision to let the boy challenge himself and push societal boundaries.
Red panda gives birth to four cubs
A red panda gave birth to rare quadruplets at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding on June 19, only the second time this has happened in the base’s 30-year history. The mother and four babies are said to be in good health.
Intricate tofu carvings amaze netizens
A man in Kunming, Yunnan province, carves ballerinas—out of silky tofu. Each sculpture takes five hours of painstaking work to create, and each completed figure, when jiggled, is called a “ballet on water.”
Lin Shengbin, whose wife and three children were killed in a fire set off by their baby-sitter in 2017, faced backlash on social media after announcing he had remarried and had a child. Many criticized him, believing Lin had played on his grief to garner public attention and sympathy for four years to promote a child apparel business he’d named after his deceased children, even though he’d started the new relationship as early as 2018.
A landlord in Zhongshan, Guangdong province, hung two massive banners announcing he had given a family four years of rent-free tenancy to celebrate the tenant’s son achieving a high score in the university entrance exam (gaokao).
As part of the centenary celebrations of the CCP, the new “July 1st Medal” was awarded to 29 Party members. Some carry the “red gene,” like the grandson of Party co-founder Li Dazhao. Others had been outstanding achievers like educator Zhang Guimei, nicknamed “China’s Mother Teresa” for her dedication to providing free education for poor Yunnanese girls and lifting them out of poverty.