Xi’an battles China’s worst Covid outbreak since 2020, woman spends 100,000 yuan on dog’s birthday, ostrich escapes on highway—it’s Viral Week
Two pregnant women have suffered miscarriages in Xi’an, prevented from entering hospitals due to Covid-19 security measures, as the city battles China’s worst Covid outbreak since Wuhan’s in 2020. On January 1, videos emerged on Weibo of a woman in late-stage pregnancy bleeding on the sidewalk by a hospital, her health code which allowed her admission having expired four hours before.
On January 5, a second post appeared from a woman claiming to have suffered a miscarriage after being turned away by two hospitals. Hospital managers were fired in response to the first case, while the head of the city‘s Health and Sanitation Committee apologized on TV, and vice-premier Sun Chunlan stated in a press conference that hospitals should never refuse patients entry in emergencies.
Tianjin, a port city east of Beijing, began mass testing its 14 million residents after 20 people tested positive for Covid-19, including two cases of the Omicron variant. The city plans to complete testing over two days, and residents are advised to stay at or near home.
A Changsha woman spent 100,000 RMB to celebrate her dog’s 10th birthday, including hiring a drone performance company to write “happy birthday” in the night sky. Netizens had mixed reactions, with some celebrating familial love toward pets and others finding the extravagance incomprehensible. The dog’s owner, surnamed Zhang, responded to netizens saying, “a person will meet many people and dogs in their life, but to a dog you are their whole world.” The dog, named Doudou, has yet to comment.
Tigers on stamp look too sad
China Post’s commemorative stamps for the upcoming Year of the Tiger, illustrated by artist Feng Dazhong, have attracted complaints from netizens who feel the tigers look stressed, sad, and not fierce enough. “Perhaps the father went out to work and left the mother to raise the kids alone,” one imaginative netizen commented on one stamp of an anxious-looking tiger with two cubs. Feng, who has been drawing tigers for 60 years, defended his work, saying, “It is possible for animals to feel a range of emotions.”
A study by Peking University found the average starting salary of undergraduates after graduation is 5,825 yuan, with the findings sparking heated discussions among netizens on Weibo. The study included 34 colleges and universities in 19 provinces in the eastern, central, and western regions, with a sample size of more than 20,000. Many netizens were quick to offer their own starting salaries, and commented that the study did not capture the large income gaps between cities.
Kidnapped man reunited with family after posting hand drawn map of childhood village
Li Jingwei, from Yunnan province, was reunited with his family 33 years after being kidnapped as a 4-year-old child, after posting a hand drawn map map of his home village on short video platform Douyin. Netizens were amazed by the detail Li recalled, and his story got the attention of local media and the police who identified the village as Zhaotong. On January 1, Li was reunited with his biological mother after DNA testing confirmed the match.
Death certificates found for sale online
Xinhua reporters recently conducted an exposé of e-commerce merchants providing fake death certificates, cremation records, and medical records for customers to use in various fraud, including crowdfunding, inheritance or insurance fraud, and avoiding debt. One shop reported receiving 40 orders in one morning, with prices ranging from 800 to 4,000 RMB.
Wu Kejing, president of the Xi’an Writers’ Association, drew criticism for an article in which he attacked a quarantined woman who cried while begging medical staff for sanitary pads in Xi’an, calling her “too sentimental.” The woman was unable to acquire the pads herself due to lockdown restrictions. Netizens criticized Wu for being disrespectful toward women and their needs. Wu later deleted the article.
Beijing revises subway signs
The Beijing subway system has changed a number of signs from English to Chinese pinyin. A number of stations have replaced the English word “station” with the Chinese pinyin equivalent, “zhan.” The change has stirred online debate about cultural pride and accessibility for visitors from abroad. After netizens questioned the logic of the change, the Beijing subway responded only by saying the changes were made in “accordance with national regulations on place names and pinyin usage.”
An escaped ostrich was filmed running between cars on a highway in Tianjin. The large bird was being transported between farms when it fell from a truck. Police officers helped capture the ostrich and return it to its owner unharmed.