Chinese Canadian idol detained for rape, new Covid-19 surge in China, livestreamers steal rescue boat, and sports brand promises flood donation—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.
The public security bureau of Beijing's Chaoyang district announced via Weibo that it has detained actor and singer Kris Wu (Wu Yifan) on charges of rape, pending conviction. The microblogging platform has since taken down 108 posts containing "misinformation" and permanently closed 990 accounts related to the news. Wu's own accounts had been removed from every major Chinese social media platform by the morning of August 2. Fans of the Chinese Canadian celebrity, though, have apparently been pondering ways to bust their idol out of jail.
New Covid-19 cases across China
New Covid-19 cases were reported in Nanjing on July 20, traced back to an air passenger arriving from Russia earlier this month who was infected the Delta strain of the virus. At the time of writing, over 300 associated cases have been found in 12 provinces and province-level regions. Over 2,000 audience members attending the Charming Xiangxi theater performance in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, have been listed as a “high-risk group,” with nine cases confirmed cases as of July 30.
The Douyin accounts of several internet celebrities were suspended after they stole a lifeboat in Weihui, Henan province, to use as a prop for livestreaming. The livestreamers pretended they were going to use the boat to rescue people stranded by devastating floods in region, and reportedly hindered actual rescue efforts for four hours. At the time of writing, floods in Henan have killed 302 people and affected over 14 million.
Sports brand Erke received huge support from netizens after announcing that it will donate 50 million RMB to help the flood-stricken Henan province. After the announcement, the company's sales volume multiplied by over 50 times on e-commerce platforms JD and Taobao, and its physical stores were reportedly mobbed by crowds seeking to get their hands on the previously lesser-known brand.
Actor Yin Xiaotian has apologized for dancing with three friends on the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall without authorization. Netizens criticized Yin for potentially damaging the historic landmark and putting his and his friends' safety at risk, as they performed a synchronized dance while standing on a ledge of the Wall.
Netizens are divided in their opinion of graffiti artist DZ, who protested after his mural of renowned scientist Yuan Longping was tagged on a Changsha wall after completion. While some felt tagging was disrespectful to the late agronomist, known as "Father of Hybrid Rice," others accused DZ of entitlement and "moral kidnapping" of another street artist by using Yuan as a shield.
An elevator’s AI control system in a residential compound in Shandong mistook a corgi for an e-bike and repeatedly shouted "No electric bikes!" at the dog's owner. E-bike explosions are a common cause of fires in residential compounds across China.
High school Chinese language teacher in Beijing reached online fame for livestreaming classes dressed in full hanfu costume and taking on the personas of poets Li Bai and Du Fu.