Dead livestreamer’s ashes stolen for “ghost marriage,” mother arrested for buying foreign medicine for sick son, cuddly cactus toy turns out to be singing about suicide—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.
Dead livestreamer’s ashes stolen for use in “ghost marriage”
A livestreamer who shocked her viewers by committing suicide by drinking pesticide on camera in October had her ashes stolen by three traffickers, including a funeral home worker. The gang intended to sell the ashes in a “ghost marriage,” a now-outlawed type of wedding traditionally arranged by the families of deceased people.
Fugitive lookalike falsely arrested five times
A man in Baicheng, Jilin province, has been reported to the police and arrested five times in three days due to his startling resemblance to an escaped prisoner, who has a reward of up to 700,000 RMB for information leading to his capture. The real fugitive was finally caught in another city in Jilin on November 28 after being on the run for over a month.
Cute lamb seeks shelter in farmer’s home
As the northernmost regions of China continued to experience extreme cold, a lamb named “Yogurt” sneaked into a farmhouse in Hulunbir, Inner Mongolia, and warmed itself next to the stove, refusing to budge even when the wool on its ear and tail got slightly burned. “Are you trying to become a roast lamb?” the farmer, who has promised to continue raising the lamb, is heard asking in the now-viral video.
False photo of “gold-digger” sparks debate on rumour-spreading
A man in Dongguan, Guangdong province, has been detained for re-posting a photograph of a girl posing for a formal portrait with her grandfather, and making up a rumor that it was a wedding photo between a Dongguan tycoon in his 70s and a "gold-digging" young woman in her 20s, in order to drive up views on his social media account.
Woman arrested for buying medicine from abroad for her sick toddler
Police detained a woman in Zhengzhou, Henan province, for drug trafficking because she sourced medicine (unlicensed in China) from overseas to treat her 2-year-old son’s epilepsy. Police later dropped the charges, but the woman had already spent 3,000 RMB on bail, and is now worried about where she can get more of the medicine from, as it has not been approved in China.
Dreadful home makeover draws criticism
Audiences criticized architect Ding Lei from reality TV show Dream Home for ruining the dream of 68-year-old farmer, Du Xingchang, for an ideal home in Gansu province. Du said that he loves the European-style two-floor building that many of his neighbors have adopted, but instead of listening to him, Ding oversaw construction of a one-story red-brick house with bad lighting—at a cost of 1.3 million RMB. The program claimed they will pay half the costs.
Man in warrior costume rides horse through streets
A man dressed like a swordsman out of a wuxia novel rode a horse down the street of Meishan, Sichuan province, attracting the attention of passersby and traffic police. The man explained that he needed to transport the horse across town and thought it would be fine to rise slowly, but police told him it is forbidden to ride animals through the urban area.
Talking children’s toy sings depressing song with suicidal themes
A grandma in Canada, who bought a singing cactus toy from China for her granddaughter for Christmas, discovered that the cuddly toy is actually singing about cocaine, depression, and suicidal thoughts in Polish. The song turned out to be “Where is the White Eel?” a 2015 release by Polish artist Cypis, who was apparently not aware the manufacturer had used his song. The toy still appears popular in China, and features on various social media platforms, with most buyers seemingly yet to discover the hidden meaning behind the song.