Olympic Closing Ceremony
Photo Credit: VCG

Winter Olympics Close With a Bang and Other Trending News

Spectacular Winter Olympics closing ceremony, crackdown on fake Bing Dwen Dwens, kidnapped man turned into “blood slave,” farmer accidentally roasts ducks—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.

Spectacular closing ceremony marks end of Winter Olympics

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games officially closed on February 20 with performances, fireworks, and over 2,000 athletes attending the closing ceremony held at the National “Bird’s Nest” Stadium. Team China recorded the country’s best-ever results at a Winter Olympics with nine gold, four silver, and two bronze medals, putting China third in the gold-medal rankings table. In recognition for their support of the Games, the International Olympic Committee awarded the Olympic Cup to the people of China for “achievements in developing the Olympic movement,” .

Crackdown on fake Bing Dwen Dwens

As love for Bing Dwen Dwen, the Beijing Winter Olympics’ beloved panda mascot, continued to sweep the globe, Tang Zhaozhi, deputy director of China’s National Copyright Administration, warned that any unauthorized use of Bing Dwen Dwen’s image may constitute copyright infringement. This includes unauthorized manufacturing of toys, dolls, or use of the image of the ice-clad panda on other products. Authorities recently sentenced a manufacturer and seller of fake souvenirs of Bing Dwen Dwen and Shuey Rhon Rhon (the Paralympic mascot) to a year in prison and a fine of 40,000 yuan, in the first criminal case related to a Winter Olympics mascot.

Strange Valentine’s Day gifts

While fans in Beijing lined up for hours to buy Bing Dwen Dwen memorabilia, a young man in Hangzhou packed a whole fridge full of Bing Dwen Dwen merchandise from cushions to crystal balls and a panda-themed lunch box, as a gift for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. Another creative Valentine gift from a man in Weifang, Shandong, also shocked and amused the netizen: a pig head adorned with lip stick and mascara and a single rose tucked in its mouth. His girlfriend was startled at first, but her mom apparently enjoyed this “practical” gift when the woman brought it home.

Farmer accidentally roasts ducks

A caring duck farmer in Jinyun, Zhejiang province, accidentally burnt his ducks alive when he installed a stove inside their shed to keep them warm in the winter. The chimney in the shed caught fire, and soon spread throughout the ducks’ shed. By the time firefighters arrived, all of the nearly 1,000 ducks had been “roasted.”

Kidnapped man turned into “blood slave”

A man surnamed Li from Jiangsu province was kidnapped by a criminal gang and imprisoned in Cambodia for six months where the criminals drew his blood and sold it on the black market. The gang lured Li into a fraud scheme with a fake job advertisement, and when he refused to join in, they allegedly began to sell his blood (after finding Li’s blood type was a rare Rh-negative type). Li escaped earlier this month, and is now receiving medical treatment.

A lake full of Tangyuan

One day before Yuanxiao Jie, or Lantern Festival, residents of Taonan, Jilin province, woke up to find the frozen Sihai Lake filled mysterious white spheres 10 to 20 centimeters in diameter, making the water resemble a huge pot of boiling tangyuan, the glutinous riceball traditionally eaten during the festival. Some netizens took this as an auspicious sign, claiming that “the heavens are sending us tangyuan on the Lantern Festival.” According to “China Meteorology Enthusiast,” a science education blogger with almost 100 million followers on micro-blogging platform Weibo, the “tangyuan lake” is actually a rare natural phenomenon caused by a sharp drop in temperature combined with strong winds, which causes small drops of water to freeze into big balls of ice and become trapped under the lake.

Kindergartener blows up homework with firecrackers

A 5-year-old child, unhappy with having to complete the last of his three homework assignments over the Lunar New Year holiday, set the homework alight along with multiple firecrackers inside his home. The boy’s father was able to put out the fire after some damage to the room (the homework did not survive).

Alibaba employee fired for revealing salary

Alibaba fired an employee, surnamed Zheng, from one of its Hema Fresh supermarkets in Jinan, Shandong province, after Zheng allegedly disclosed his salary to colleagues, which the company adjudged “confidential information.” Zheng claimed that his coworker (who apparently threatened to resign after finding out they earned less than Zheng) secretly looked at his salary slips. Netizens and legal professionals are debating whether salary amounts within a company should be secret or not.

Starbucks staff kick police officers out of store

A Starbucks store in Chongqing went viral after some staff made a police officer eating food on the store’s doorstep leave the premises as they worried he might damage the brand’s reputation. The company made a public apology on Weibo a day later.


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