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Viral Week: Nike Discrimination and Other Trending News

Sparrow rides bullet train, astronauts walk in space, and student arrested for salting snails—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.

More popstars accused of criminal behavior

After being detained by Beijing police on suspicion of rape on August 1, singer Kris Wu was formally arrested on August 16. Shortly after Wu's detention, singer Xie Minghao reported on Weibo that Kris confessed to being an accomplice to singers JJ Lin and Wilber Pan in rape and drug abuse, which has been refuted by the accused celebrities. Netizens also shared screenshots alleging celebrities like Fan Bingbing and Jing Boran were also Wu's accomplices, leading these celebrities to file police reports for “rumor-mongering.”

Nike store allegedly discriminates against poor family

A migrant worker in Kunming is demanding a formal apology from Nike after employees from a local store discriminated against him and his family, allegedly because he was wearing shabby clothes. The man, surnamed Mao, says he was treated rudely by staff when he visited the store with his wife and three children. An employee insulted the family, snatching away clothes his younger son had picked out, and getting into a physical confrontation with Mao's wife.

Chinese astronauts carry out spacewalk

Two Chinese astronauts on board the Tianhe Space Station, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming, carried out the second spacewalk of their mission on August 20. They spent six hours installing new equipment, taking videos of each other before heading back inside. The three crew members of the space mission have been in orbit for over 60 days at the time of writing, scheduled to return to Earth in mid-September.

Ice cream brand in hot water over cheap ingredients

Premium ice cream brand Magnum recently came under fire for admitting it uses cheaper ingredients on the Chinese mainland compared to the European market, namely milk powder in lieu of condensed milk, while charging the same prices. The brand was first called out for this practice on Weibo by a game blogger earlier in August, accusing Magnum of discrimination.

Beijing offers jobs to tutoring center employees

The city of Beijing is offering 13,000 jobs in teaching, marketing, management, and other roles for people who lost their jobs following the central government's crackdown on private tutoring. In late July, the State Council introduced several new regulations on private education centers as part of its "Double Reduction" policy, a set of measures that aim to reduce the academic burden on students and level the educational playing field.

Pedigree cat neutered by mistake

A veterinary clinic in Shenzhen has paid 35,000 RMB to a Ms. Liang, whose pedigree Norwegian Forest Cat they neutered by mistake after it was sent in for a health check-up together with another of Liang’s cats, who was sent to be neutered. The Norwegian Forest Cat was fathered by an international prize-winning purebred, and Liang had promised to sell it to a new owner who intended to use it for breeding.

Doctoral student arrested for salting snails

A 26-year-old doctoral student from Hong Kong Polytechnic University was arrested on charges of animal cruelty for sprinkling salt onto snails near a fountain in Tsim Sha Tsui, killing three snails. Passersby told the student to stop, but he claimed he was helping the ecosystem. The student now faces a fine of up to 200,000 HKD and three years in prison if found guilty.

Boss threatens to ban microwaves at the workplace

A supervisor at an internet company in Hangzhou threatened to throw away the microwave ovens in the office because he felt employees were taking too much time to heat their food. He wrote on WeChat that with all the time employees spent on reheating their meals, they could have improved their productivity so that all “could have been able to afford healthy [delivery] meals on increased salaries by now,” and “if you insist on bringing food from home, you may enjoy it cold; or you can find somebody to deliver heated food, a symbol of your strength.” Though the company later attributed the boss's words to anger and emphasized nothing had been done to the microwaves, his actions sparked backlash on Chinese social media for workplace bullying.

Sparrow takes high-speed train to Beijing

A sparrow got on a bullet train from Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, to Beijing, and flew from the second-class carriage to the business section during the two-hour journey.

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