Thousands stranded in tourist hotspot, vlogger faces prison for eating endangered shark, Tangshan in the news again, netizens react to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit—it’s Viral Week
Tens of thousands stranded as tourist hot spot Sanya enters lockdown
Authorities in Sanya, a popular tropical tourist destination in Hainan province, announced a lockdown of the city, leaving 80,000 tourists stranded. Starting 6 a.m. on August 6, the city suspended all non-essential business operations, and canceled most most flights and trains out of the city. Many other cities on Hainan island have also heightened travel restrictions.
In the last week, Sanya recorded over 800 Covid-19 cases, while the whole of Hainan province recorded over 1,140 cases, including the highly transmissible Omicron BA.5.1.3 subvariant. Many stranded tourists have no choice but to remain in their hotels at significant cost. A Chengdu family of 13 staying in the Mandarin Oriental hotel before the lockdown measures estimated to The Paper that their extra seven-day quarantine stay, required before tourists can leave the city, would cost them more than 180,000 yuan. On August 7, Sanya’s municipal government ordered hotels to offer stranded tourists a 50 percent discount on their normal room rates, though some tourists reported their hotels had actually raised their prices instead.
A man driving an SUV in Tangshan, Hebei province, crushed his girlfriend to death after running her over several times, apparently deliberately, after they had an argument. Video footage from August 2 shows the man hitting the woman in a parking lot and repeatedly driving over her even after passersby tried to move her away from his vehicle. The incident is another act of violence against a woman in the city which became notorious after a group of men attacked several women at a barbecue restaurant last month. Police apprehended the suspect but the case is still under investigation.
Food blogger faces prison for eating endangered shark
A food blogger who goes by the online name Tizi faces up to ten years in prison for illegally cooking and eating an endangered white shark, after she posted a video of the meal online. Tizi claimed in the video the the shark was legally purchased online. Tizi, who has 8 million followers on Douyin, often shares videos in which she eats exotic animals such as crocodiles and giant salamanders
Netizens React to Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit
US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on the night of August 2, with China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemning the visit as "a serious violation of the one-China principle" that "seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
On social media, the visit was fertile ground for memes, as well as diplomatic tension. One screenshot of a WeChat message circulating online referring to China’s Covid-testing policies: “As Pelosi's flight touches down, a mysterious troop of parachuters lands in Songshan Airport. Before the armed forces have a chance to respond, they immediately built a nucleic acid testing booth on the runway.” Some even PhotoShopped a red “health code” with Pelosi's name on it, referring to the fact that without a green health code, a person in China is as good as grounded.
Livestreamers boasting of income investigated by tax bureau
Livestreaming duo “Rainbow Couple” are under investigation by their local tax bureau after they boasted online that they pocketed 4 million yuan net profit in one day from livestream sales of 230 million. Netizens questioned how the couple, who have 9 million fans, could make so much profit if they had paid the correct tax. The taxation authority in Chengdu, Sichuan province, are investigating.
A man surnamed Yao in Chongqing courted controversy after he posted on WeChat venting anger at his newborn baby girl, accusing her of bringing him bad luck and expressing his disappointment that he hadn’t fathered a son. In the posts, which attracted the ire of netizens, Yao claimed he couldn’t be bothered to name his new daughter. Yao later said he was angry when he made the posts as he had just lost 70,000 yuan though a scam, and stated having a son had been his dream.
Several restaurants in Hefei, Anhui province, were fined 5,000 yuan each by the provincial Market Supervision and Regulation Bureau for selling cold cucumber salads on takeout platforms as their business licenses do not cover the sale of cold food. Netizens expressed confusion at the fines, though the bureau responded that cold food permits were required to ensure food hygiene.
High college tuition fees shock netizens
The high tuition fees—150,000 yuan per year—at the private Shanghai Xingwei College shocked netizens and prospective students alike. The fees are nearly ten times those at public universities and colleges. Last year, none of the 30 candidates from Jiangxi province or the eight from Guizhou province expected to enroll ended up joining the university, which many suggested was because of the high fees. The college, established in 2014, had just 191 undergraduate students on campus in 2021, according to its website.