Crackdown on 'sissy' male celebs, Paralympic gold for Sichuan earthquake survivor, UK student visa chaos—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.
Crackdown on Entertainment Industry and "Sissy" Celebs
Authorities have announced restrictions on the entertainment industry including, banning TV coverage of "effeminate" male celebrities and reducing "vulgar styles." This follows new regulations aimed at ending "chaotic fan culture" announced in August, with voting on some TV shows ended, and certain reality programs axed. The government is instead encouraging the industry to promote “revolutionary culture” and China’s traditional culture.
Internet Trolls Attack Mature Student
A 39-year-old unmarried woman found herself the target of internet trolls after posting a video explaining her decision to study abroad in Italy while in her late 30s, with misogynistic commenters accusing her of neglecting her "duty" to the country to have children, and complaining that women enjoy too high a position in Chinese society.
Environmental Activist Sentenced to Prison
Li Genshan, an environmental activist well-known for exposing a paper factory for dumping waste in northwest China's Tengger Desert, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison and fined 10,000 RMB for killing two wild gazelles (a protected species) and "provoking quarrels." Li maintains he is innocent of the charges.
Students Endure UK Visa Chaos
Chinese students preparing to study abroad in the UK have seen long lines and weeks-long delays in receiving their visas, despite some students paying over 12,000 RMB for expedited service. Many already had flights booked at exorbitant costs, and needed to arrive in the UK in time to complete Covid-19 testing and quarantine requirements before the start of term.
School Rejects Students Due to Apartment Size
An elementary school in Heze, Shandong province, rejected applications from about a dozen students because the apartments their family own in the school district are less than 60 square meters in size. School staff claimed the criteria were set by “higher authorities,” done to avoid wealthier families living in another district buying an apartment so their children can qualify for enrollment. But the local education bureau said the school set their own standards, and that the case is being reviewed.
Sichuan Earthquake Survivor Wins Paralympic Gold
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games closed on September 5 with China top of the medal rankings with 96 gold, and 207 medals in total. Among the gold medalists was table tennis player Wang Rui, who lost her right leg during the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake when she was 15 years old. “I thank table tennis for gifting me a second life,” Wang said in a post-game interview.
Controversial Education Entrepreneur in Hot Water Again
Li Yang, a teacher who rose to fame with his language-learning program Crazy English, was accused of domestic violence for the second time. In 2011, a court found Li guilty of abusing his ex-wife, Kim Lee, after which Li publicly promised never to be abusive again. This time, Lee has accused Li of abusing their children. In Li's classes, he previously told his followers that domestic violence is part of Chinese culture.
Rare Weather Phenomenon Caught on Camera
In Guizhou province, torrential rain fell in just one small part of a street, a rare weather phenomenon that intrigued netizens.