Online swim exam mocked, Shanghai gradually opens up, “baijiu” ice cream launched, woman sells goodnight messages—it’s Viral Week
Shanghai University became a laughing stock on Chinese social media after it moved its swimming examination online. The Dean’s Office had announced that students could take their 50-meter swimming test online as the university swimming pool is closed and in-person classes canceled due to Covid-19. In some Chinese universities, swimming is a graduation requirement because it is considered a survival skill which also improves physical fitness. The university was widely mocked and some netizens filmed themselves flopping on their beds in swimwear. One netizen asked: “Is it a reality version of surfing the internet?”
Netizens criticized Fuyanjie, a Chinese female hygiene brand, last Tuesday for a misogynistic advertisement for a vaginal wash. The advert, on Fuyanjie’s official online store, included the claim that 83 percent of the men in China, Japan, and South Korea are unwilling to offer oral intercourse to their female partners because of vaginal odors, and that the company’s products can turn women “virgin-like.” Fuyanjie has since apologized and removed the product from their store.
Woman earns 30,000 yuan selling “goodnight” messages
A woman from Guangdong province became viral after netizens discovered she had earned over 30,000 yuan from selling “goodnight” text messages online. Weng Biying first thought of the idea in 2012 when she felt lonely and depressed, and decided to open a store on e-commerce platform Taobao. Her customers include cancer patients, children from single-parent households, and “LGBTQ people who are misunderstood by their families,” she told Elephant News. She once sent out over 300 messages in one night.
With 16 districts reporting zero case of community transmission, Shanghai announced it will be gradually reopening businesses, public transportation, and residential communities after nearly two months of lockdown (over two months for some parts of the city). A video of residents forming long queues to visit a Vanguard supermarket in Minhang district went viral.
Train services from Shanghai to other parts of China have also gradually resumed. Some residents returning to their hometowns are walking to the train station due to limited public transportation and taxi services. Multiple compounds in the city remain under strict lockdown conditions.
Rice wine company releases baijiu ice cream
Well-known alcohol company Maotai announced it would open its first ice cream store in its Moutai International Hotel in Zunyi, Guizhou province. The ice cream costs 39 yuan per serving, with netizens debating whether the fiery rice wine would make a good ice cream flavor. The announcement quickly became a trending topic on Weibo.
Tianjin spring gaokao confusion due to Covid
Netizens were angered when a bulletin from CCTV news appeared to say that anyone potentially infected with Covid-19 in Tianjin would not be allowed to take the city’s spring edition of college entrance exam (gaokao). The potentially life-deciding college entrance exam (already pushed back by two months due to Covid-19) will be held on June 12, but the notice issued by CCTV on Weibo on Wednesday announcing the new date said that any close contacts of a case would not be allowed to enter the exam site. Three hours later, after netizens asked why a separate testing site could not be set up, Tianjin’s examination board clarified that high-risk candidates could in fact take the test, just not at regular exam centers. The board’s WeChat account later laid out detailed plans for testing sites, in hospitals for positive cases and isolated ones for close contacts.
Former K-pop idol joins reality show
Popular reality series Sisters Who Make Waves announced the line-up for its third season. The show features veteran female celebrities over 30 who compete to join a five-member girl group. Netizens were pleasantly surprised to see former K-pop-idol Jessica Jung on the list of competitors. Jung is a former member of Girl’s Generation, one of the most popular K-pop girl groups in the 2010s. Sisters Who Make Waves is widely popular with women, and the first episode has over 300 million views on its broadcaster’s mobile app.
Contractor in Beijing caught for breaking local Covid policies
A contractor in Beijing surnamed Liu is facing criminal charges for violating Covid-19 regulations. According to local police, Liu was in charge of a project for China Railway 11th Bureau Group Corporation and arranged his workers to operate in locked down areas of Beijing several times since May 5, against local regulations. Liu’s actions caused 20 new infections, 21 spots being locked down, and over 900 people quarantined, according to local authorities. Liu and his co-workers are facing charges such as hiding their travel history, duping the Covid-19 tracking system, and spreading disease.