Bullied photographer’s suicide, TV show criticized for on-screen cat death, traditional meat smoking causes fires, Canada Goose in hot water again—it’s Viral Week
Local police in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, have found the body of a missing photographer, identified by his surname Zhou, who had posted a suicide note on his Weibo account last week under the account name Ludaosen. Zhou’s note cited his experience as a “left-behind” child growing up in the countryside with absent parents, and being bullied at school for his feminine appearance. The incident attracted anger and grief from netizens about school bullying, with the hashtag “save the Ludaosen next to you” trending on Weibo.
The producer of TV series Mistresses Who Head the Household (《当家主母》) came under fire for a scene in which a cat dies from poisoning, with the show’s rating dropping from over five out of ten to an abysmal 2.7 on review platform Douban after the incident. Viewers were unconvinced by the producers’ claim that they did not actually abuse or kill the cat, and worried that animal abuse could be widespread in China’s film industry.
A separated couple in Chongqing were simultaneously admitted to the same hospital for depression triggered by their breakup. The couple had ended their relationship two years ago after eight years together, but have now reconciled. The couple’s reunion went viral after a video showed them sitting side-by-side in hospital gowns as they talked through their relationship.
Police arrested a drug manufacturer in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, who claimed to have learned how to make methamphetamine from foreign TV series, films, and online sources, just in order to show off his lab skills. The man apparently told police making common legal compounds was not enough for him to prove himself.
Vivo to make cellphones for the hearing impaired
On December 12, a day before the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Chinese smartphone brand Vivo announced plans to make its future products more accessible, including features for the hearing impaired such as improved real-time voice-text conversion and automatic recognition of baby sounds which notifies parents when their children are in need of attention. Vivo is collaborating with the government affiliated non-profit organization Audiology Development Foundation of China.
The process of making larou (腊肉), a traditional smoked pork belly dish, has been linked to multiple fires in Sichuan province, where the dish is particularly popular in the winter. In Pingchang county, an elderly man fell asleep and fell over his pan, waking up with his clothes on fire before passersby saved him.
Canada Goose in hot water for strict returns policy
Outdoor clothing brand Canada Goose was boycotted for its discriminatory refund policy after a Shanghai store refused to refund a recent sale of a defective coat worth over 14,000 RMB. The Canadian company offers only a 7-day “no reason” return for online sales in China, compared with 30 days for other countries. The company had not responded to the local consumer council’s inquiry into the discrepancy at the time of writing. The company has previously been the victim of Chinese consumer boycotts as China-Canada relations have soured.
Livestreamer threatens to commit suicide to gain views
Police detained a livestreamer from Hebei who claimed she would broadcast herself committing suicide, apparently to gain more followers. The female livestreamer threatened to film herself jumping into a river, with over 1,000 people joining the livestream to talk her out of it. The woman ended the chat shortly afterward. Local police arrested her for disrupting public order.
Pretty tree in Beijing goes viral
An unassuming tree by a roundabout on Beijing’s Second Ring Road has become the latest online fad. The tree, and the bi-color corrugated-iron wall behind it, have attracted crowds keen to pose for photos to post on their social media accounts. So many tourists had been turning up, blocking traffic for their perfect shot, that volunteers had to be deployed to manage crowds.
Expensive Chanel advent calendar roasted for shoddy gifts
Perfume brand Chanel’s advent calendar received scathing reviews for its high prices and low-quality items. The box, priced at 6,055 RMB included stickers, storage bags for cosmetics, and bookmarks, the overall value of which was estimated to be around 2,500 RMB. The hashtag “Chanel Blindbox” received over 50 million views on Weibo.