Fish swabbed in Fujian
Photo Credit: Haokan Video

Fish Swabbed for Covid-19 and Other Trending News

Fish get tested for Covid, record heatwave causes energy shortages, man sued for breaking coworker’s ribs with hug, driver cooks noodles on steering wheel—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.

Fish in Xiamen given Covid tests

Videos of fish, shrimp, and crabs undergoing nucleic acid testing went viral on social media last week. Fishermen in the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian province, underwent PCR tests after returning from sea, and medical workers then tested a sample of their catch. Many comments sarcastically asked if parts of the ocean would be placed under lockdown. Previous videos have shown people testing seafood, livestock, fruit, and mail packages for Covid-19.

Shanghai Bund turns off lights to save energy

On Sunday, local authorities in Shanghai announced that the famous Bund area would not be illuminated on Monday and Tuesday nights, in an effort to save energy as power shortages in western China rippled across the country. Many cities are grappling with a power crunch due to record breaking heat waves, which have increased demand for electricity and reduced hydroelectric power production. Many social media users supported the move to turn off the lights, though some questioned what took so long, as other cities, including Wuhan and Hangzhou, had already turned off their landscape lights.

Doctor accused of exaggerating ailments for money

Social media users accused Liu Xianfeng, deputy director of the emergency trauma center at the Second Xiangya Hospital in Hunan province, of exaggerating his patients’ illnesses and recommending costly and unnecessary treatments to make money. The hospital launched an investigation after an anonymous post on Q&A platform Zhihu made the accusations against Liu. The hospital later removed the 48-year-old gastroenterologist from his post, stating he was guilty of “substandard” practices. Doctors in China can make money according to the procedures they conduct and medicines they prescribe.

Record drought continues

Last Thursday, China issued its first national drought alert in nine years. The yellow alert comes as an ongoing heat wave has surpassed 70 days, the longest on record. One of the hardest hit regions is Chongqing, where state media reported as many as 66 rivers have run dry and temperatures have hit 45 degrees Celsius. Several forest fires have broken out in recent days in Chongqing, with over 5,000 professional rescue teams mobilized to fight the blazes.

Man ordered to compensate coworker after painful hug

A court in Yueyang, Hunan province, ordered a man surnamed Huang to compensate his coworker over 10,000 yuan for breaking her ribs during a big hug. In late May, the coworker, a woman surnamed Cao, started feeling chest pains after receiving an overzealous hug from Huang. A CT scan a few days later showed that she had sustained several fractured ribs on both sides of her chest. As the two could not work out a settlement between them, Cao sued Huang for medical costs and loss of pay from time off work. The court ruled that Huang should be responsible for 70 percent of Cao’s reported losses, while Cao would cover the rest, as she “delayed treatment.”

Noisy child on train provokes debate about parenting

Footage of passengers on a high-speed train in Beijing asking a couple to control their noisy 3-year old sparked a discussion about the importance of parental education. After a passenger asked the mother to quieten the child down, the mother replied angrily: “I can’t control him, why don’t you take care of him?” The mother also told passengers not to have children. The child’s grandmother was also filmed saying that their are no restrictions on children shouting and told complaining passengers to move to first-class carriages if they didn‘t like the child’s behavior.

Flash flood in Qinghai province kills 26 and leaves five missing

Flash flooding and landslides caused by a sudden rainstorm in Qinghai’s Datong county have killed 26 people, with an additional five people still missing. More than 6,200 people were affected by the flood, which left a trail of destruction through multiple villages.

Driver goes viral for cooking noodles on car steering wheel

A mechanic in Chongqing went viral for replacing his car’s steering wheel with a cooking pot and preparing instant noodles while driving (and not wearing a seat belt). However, once the video gained traction online, traffic police quickly found the man and fined him 900 yuan.

Panda handlers dress up to prepare bears for the wild

A set of photos of handlers wearing panda suits to take care of pandas in training for release into the wild won over 25 million views on Weibo within two days. According to Liu Dingzhen, a professor from the College of Life Sciences at Beijing Normal University, the suits, can help reduce cubs’ reliance on human beings, so that they will avoid humans after they’re released to the wild. The suits are even smeared with panda urine and excrement for a more realistic experience. However, many netizens commented that the suits don’t really make the wearers look like pandas, while others commented that the creepy-looking costumes might give the panda cubs nightmares.

Boy attempts to ditch homework in supermarket

A boy in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, was caught on camera hiding his homework in a supermarket’s refrigerator while shopping with his mom. While browsing ice creams, the boy is seen looking both ways before stuffing his notebook into the fridge and walking away. Unfortunately for the boy, a helpful shop assistant soon discovered the homework and returned it to him.

New milk tea shop opening cancelled due to massive crowds

A new branch of Modern Chinese Tea Shop in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, cancelled its grand opening after just 30 minutes due to overcrowding and to reports of drinks being scalped for over 200 yuan, ten times their original value. Patrons began queueing at 4:30 a.m. for the store’s scheduled opening at 9 a.m. The chain, which opened its first store in 2015, has become wildly popular over the years. It originally only operated in Changsha, Hunan province, but slowly expanded elsewhere since 2020. The company later issued an apology for the chaos on its Weibo account.


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