England's Queen Elizabeth II
Photo Credit: VCG

China Reacts to Queen’s Death and Other Trending News

Netizens react to death of Elizabeth II, celebrity arrested for soliciting prositutes, vlogger banned after eating wasp, man trapped in balloon for two days—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.

China reacts to Queen’s death

Chinese netizens reacted to the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, posting mostly messages of respect, reflections on the end of an era, and some criticism of the late monarch. “I can really see the passing of history” one comment with 99,000 likes read on Weibo. Another, with 26,000 likes, goes, “As a regular Chinese person, I have no strong feelings. I pay more attention to the people stuck in pandemic-hit zones and the Sichuan earthquake,” . Others also reflected on the anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death, which falls on September 9, just the day after the Queen died, and compared the two important historical figures.

The Queen is the only British monarch to have visited China, touring the country in 1986. One netizen perhaps summed up the mood best on Weibo: “Even though she had nothing to do with me, I still feel sad that someone who’s been in the news my whole life is suddenly gone.”

Man trapped aloft in hydrogen balloon for two days

A worker who lost control of a hydrogen balloon and subsequently spent two days in the air, traveling 320 kilometres, eventually landed safely. On Sunday, the man and another worker were using the hydrogen balloon to collect pine nuts from a tree in Heilongjiang province when they lost control of the balloon and it sailed off. While his coworker jumped to safety, the man floated away with the balloon. The man was found with the balloon in a field, and is in good health except for some lower back pain, possibly from standing the whole time he was trapped in the balloon.

Actor arrested for soliciting prostitutes

Actor and singer Li Yifeng was arrested by Beijing police on Sunday for multiple counts of soliciting sex workers. Li’s work has been removed from music and video streaming platforms, and a dozen domestic and international brands have terminated their partnership with the 35-year-old actor, including Prada, Lukfook Jewellery, and Remy Martin. The committee behind the Huading Awards, a set of people’s choice awards for China’s film, music, and television industries, also rescinded Li’s “Best Male Actor” award that he received this year. While soliciting is not criminalized under China’s penal code (unless it involves minors), Li could be charged with a public security offense and be subject to 15 days of detention and a fine of up to 5,000 yuan.

Recruitment website deletes prostitution ad, blames human error

Job-recruitment platform 58.com deleted a post from a hardware company recruiting sex workers on Tuesday, and said a staff member had made a mistake when double-checking ads for illegal content. It also suspended the account of the company that posted the ad, though the company states it had never published the ad and believes its information was stolen.

Boy with lotus seed shell stuck in mouth misdiagnosed with tumor

A hospital in Hunan province faced ridicule and disbelief after a senior doctor misdiagnosed an 11-month-old baby with a tumor that turned out to be a lotus seed shell stuck in his mouth. In a later check-up at a different hospital, the seed shell fell out of the infant’s mouth during an examination.

Water level of China’s biggest lake hits record low

Unprecedented heat waves and drought have sent the water level of China’s largest fresh water lake to their lowest levels since 1951. The water level at Poyang Lake, Jiangxi province, dropped under eight meters on Tuesday. According to the local government, the lake has entered its “dry season” at the earliest moment in 71 years. Meanwhile, animals living in the lake are facing severe challenges, including the endangered finless porpoise. According to The Paper, there were only 1,012 left in the wild in 2017, with 457 living in the Poyang Lake.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes Sichuan, 93 dead

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Luding, Sichuan province, has killed 93 people and left 25 missing. The earthquake hit on September 5, and rescue operations have been continuing since. Video footage on social media showed collapsed buildings and landslides on roads. Chengdu, Sichuan’s provincial capital, also felt tremors with some residents reporting they were prevented from exiting their apartment buildings due to lockdowns for pandemic prevention.

‘Sausage Lips’ influencer canceled after wasp-eating video stunt

Video-sharing platform Douyin blocked an online vlogger’s account after he posted a video of himself eating a live wasp. Wang Can’s video caused public outcry over dangerous social media stunts. Multiple wasp stings meant Wang suffered extremely swollen lips and had difficulty swallowing after filming the video on Friday. He claimed the video had attracted more than 100,000 viewers, and planned to repeat the stunt again on Sunday evening.

Wang, who had over 560,000 followers on Douyin, was banned by the site on Sunday after his wasp-eating video went viral and netizens criticized him for attention-seeking and “revolting taste.”


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