Soy sauce brand faces questions over additives, tech billionaire settles sexual assault case, turtle falls from eighth story and survives, Qingdao landmark collapses after heavy rain—it’s Viral Week
Haitian Flavoring and Food Company faced controversy for what netizens have dubbed “double standards” in the ingredients it uses for domestic and overseas products. Customers last week found the company’s soy sauce sold in Japan contains only natural ingredients like water, soybeans, and wheat, while the same product in China has a range of additives, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and flavor enhancers. Some claimed that the additives could cause cancer, leading to public concern over food safety and accusations that Haitian uses inferior ingredients in domestic products.
The company, based in Foshan, Guangdong province, since issued two statements in response, claiming all their products met requirements set out in China’s Food Safety Law and saying that each country has different regulatory standards regarding food additives.
JD.com boss settles sexual assault case
On October 1, Liu Jingyao, a 25-year-old former University of Minnesota student, reached a settlement with Liu Qiangdong, 49-year-old billionaire founder of e-commerce platform JD.com. In April 2019, Liu Jingyao filed a civil lawsuit alleging that the tech boss sexually assaulted and raped her after a network dinner in August 2018. The case was due to be heard at a court in Hennepin county, Minnesota, on October 3. The news of the settlement attracted heated discussion on Weibo with many feminist activists and supporters of Liu Jingyao praising her for igniting discussion on the issue of sexual assault, while others suggested the settlement indicated her allegations were false. Liu Qiangdong has denied the allegations.
Pet turtle jumps from eighth floor, breaks car window, survives
On October 7, a pet turtle in Dongguan, Guangdong province, made a daring attempt to escape its captivity. The turtle fell from its owner’s eighth floor apartment balcony and crashed through the rear window of a car parked below. A video from the scene showed a police officer rescuing the still-living turtle from the car. The turtle’s owner agreed to pay the repair cost of the damage to the car, while the turtle was taken back up to the apartment.
Woman helps clean son’s car...with wire sponge
An elderly woman in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, recently demonstrated her motherly love by carefully scrubbing a grey car, supposedly her son’s, with a wire sponge. A video of the incident quickly went viral, with the woman’s attempts to clean the car leaving multiple scratches on the paintwork. In comments under the video on Weibo, some are touched by the mother’s love, though others question if the video was staged.
On October 3, the upper half of Old Man Stone, a 17-meter-high rock in Qingdao, Shandong province, resembling an old fisherman who, according to legend, is waiting for his only daughter to return from the clutches of a sea god, collapsed after a severe storm. Experts suggested it had collapsed after long-term seawater erosion, with the trigger being the recent storm. The Laoshan Culture and Tourism Bureau, responsible for the site, said they had taken temporary protection measures while specific restoration plans are still under discussion.
A woman from Guangdong province complained via an online video that the “wooden” sofa she purchased was actually made of concrete after the paint on the surface rubbed off. The incident sparked public concern over product quality and integrity in the furniture market. However, the woman’s viral video also triggered doubts, with many shocked that the woman failed to distinguish concrete from wood.
A viral video shows a young girl in Zhengzhou, Henan province, sobbing uncontrollably after finding her pet cat is male. The girl and her family had thought the cat was female when they started raising it four months ago, but last week found out it was male. The girl had treated the cat like a “little princess” and chosen pink-colored toys and decorations for it. After learning the news, the girl balled uncontrollably while saying “Change back to my daughter!”