Second Uncle
Photo Credit: Haokan Video

Heart-Wrenching Story of Rural Uncle Inspires Viewers and Other Trending News

Viral video of rural “uncle” inspires netizens, temple in Nanjing caught memorializing war criminals, giant screen crushes dancers, pink-haired woman suffers cyberbullying—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.

Inspirational story of village ‘uncle’ wins hearts online

A short documentary posted online about a disabled man in rural China gained over 20 million views in two days. The film tells the inspiring story of the filmmaker’s maternal uncle, whom he calls “Second Uncle,” who was a top student at school, but suffered a life-changing injury to his leg after botched medical treatment for a fever. Despite his disability, Second Uncle forged a life for himself learning carpentry and doing odd jobs around the village. Netizens were touched by the man’s humility and resilience. Vlogger Yige Caixiang, who filmed the documentary and posted it on video-sharing platform Bilibili, said his uncle always had a positive attitude toward life.

Bald people and women over 65 kilograms banned from bar

A bar in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, attracted controversy after it erected a sign forbidding entry to bald people, women over 65 kilograms in weight, and those wearing gold chains. After netizens criticized the rules online, an employee told local media that the sign was a publicity stunt. However, they also claimed that they didn’t serve bald people or those with gold chains because they believed them to be signs of “gangsters,” while women over 65 kilograms rarely enter the bar anyway.

Religious sites to be rectified after Nanjing temple found to honor war criminals

Buddhism associations in several provinces are conducting an investigation of memorial plates for the dead in local temples, after a temple in Nanjing was found to host shrines for four Japanese war criminals: including Iwane Matsui, commander of the Japanese forces in Nanjing during the infamous 1937 Nanjing Massacre; and Takeshi Noda and Gunkichi Tanaka, officers who participated in a competition to kill 100 people during the Massacre. The tablets were erected by a woman surnamed Wu, who has been detained. Last week, users also reported that, a website where users can create online memorials for the deceased, had pages honoring Yasuji Okamura, commander of the Imperial Japanese Army in China; and Isoroku Yamamoto, the chief architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Online lending company hides identity to sell products via livestream, then offers loans to purchasers

Online lending platform Qudian was accused of preying on young mothers and using inappropriate marketing techniques after hiding the company’s identity and selling package meals via livestream at extremely cheap prices, and then offering loans to the buyers. On July 17, Luo Min, Qudian’s CEO, sold 250 million yuan’s worth of products, including pickled fish ready-to-eat meals priced at just one fen (0.01 yuan) in 19 hours via a Douyin livestream. The next day, Luo announced Qudian would provide three-year loans to around 100,000 people who bought the meals so they could set up their own businesses selling them, and pitched the idea to young mothers, who Luo claimed could set up their own online shops from home and work “flexibly.”

Netizens eventually realized that Qudian was actually the new name of Qufenqi, an online lending company that had been implicated in much-criticized “campus loans” aimed at college students who often struggle to make repayments, with catastrophic consequences for some debtors, including suicide. Regulators have cracked down on such lending companies since 2017, and Luo Min has rebranded Qufenqi and begun selling various other projects since then. Celebrities Jia Nailiang and Fu Shouer, who had helped promote Qudian, later apologized on social media for failing to adequately investigate the company before agreeing to work with it.

Pink-haired woman to sue online bullies

A woman from Zhejiang intends to sue cyberbullies who verbally abused her for having pink-dyed hair and called her a “nightclub girl.” The woman posted on Weibo celebrating her acceptance into graduate school; the post included a selfie with her bedridden grandfather. Some netizens left vicious comments about her unsuitable hair-color and criticized her choice to study music in university, while others took the image and used it without permission for advertising.

Giant screen crushes dancers at music concert

On Thursday, a giant screen fell on top of dancers during a music concert in Hong Kong. Local boyband Mirror was performing at the time. Footage showed the screen falling directly on a dancer’s head, before toppling backwards onto another dancer as the audience screams in terror. Both dancers were taken to the hospital, with one in critical condition.

Student punished for taking selfie during school holidays

A high school student in Panjin, Liaoning province, received a warning from teachers after posting a selfie on WeChat. The girl was out with her friends during school holidays, but her school bans social media apps and only permits smartphone use for study. The incident sparked debates over privacy and whether schools should monitor students during the holidays.

Covid-19 lockdown leads to four-day birthday party

A Covid outbreak in Chengdu, Sichuan province, left thirty-five people locked down in a friend’s apartment for four days, after they had gathered there to celebrate friend’s birthday. The group consumed around four kilograms of flour and 2.5 kilograms of noodles for each meal they were forced to share together, before they were finally permitted to leave.


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