Communist Party congress opens, netizens mourn famous cat’s death, new fungus species wets tastebuds, woman finds mother 32 years after her abduction—it’s Viral Week
Communist Party of China’s 20th Party Congress Opens
Media in China has been dominated by the opening of the Communist Party’s 20th Party Congress in Beijing on Sunday. The congress is held once every five years, and opened with a speech by general-secretary Xi Jinping. His speech lasted for 105 minutes, with his remarks on Taiwan gaining long applause. The congress will last until October 22, with Xi expected to be confirmed as leader of the Party for another five years. Viewers also noted the presence of 105-year-old Song Ping at the congress, perhaps the oldest delegate.
Singer Li Yuchun reveals ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis
Singer Li Yuchun revealed she has been suffering from ankylosing spondylitis in an interview on the talk show My Bronze Age (《我的青铜时代》), sparking conversation of the chronic disease and bringing attention to millions of patients. According to The Paper, an estimated 5 million people in China have the disease, which causes inflammation of joints and ligaments, often in the spine. It is not fatal, but there is no cure.
Woman reunites with abducted mother after 32 years
A touching tale of tragic loss and fortuitous reunion after three decades: Yu Changhua, a 35-year-old woman, found her mother 32 years after her mother left her behind to return to her native Sichuan province, having been trafficked to Shandong three years earlier. In September this year, Yu decided to start looking for her mother with the help of social media, and began a long journey by motorbike. She traveled to Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing and finally Sichuan, where she located her birth mother in the provincial capital, Chengdu, with the help of Chinese netizens.
Famous rare cat chokes on chicken bone
The death of a famous Pallas’s cat by choking on a chicken bone in a zoo in Xining, Qinghai province, provoked sadness and raised concerns about its living conditions in the zoo, where it was part of a captive breeding program. The feline, named Sun Simiao, was the only male Pallas’s cat (Felis manul) in captivity in China, and had gained a large following online for its cute, plump appearance since it was rescued by the zoo in 2015. News of Sun Simiao’s death received over 7 million views on Douyin alone, with many taking the zoo to task for its carelessness in allowing the death to occur. The zoo released an obituary for Sun Simiao online, and promised to review their safety standards.
New fungus species has netizens drooling
Lin Wenfei, a researcher at the School of Life Sciences in Zhejiang province, announced the discovery of a new species of fungus. The creamy color of the fungus quickly drew public attention, with many suggesting it looks delicious. While netizens debated how best to cook the new fungus, Lin and his research center warned the public to avoid eating it until further testing to determine it is safe to eat.
Teacher assigns rice-counting for homework
A family in Jiangxi province posted a viral video of themselves counting out 10,000 grains of rice late into the night, claiming it was homework assigned by their child’s teacher. Netizens are divided over whether the assignment was unreasonable, or if the family might have mistaken the instructions and should have approached the problem more creatively, such as by weighing 10 grains of rice and multiplying the amount.
Boy has tearful meltdown trying to teach sister math
A video of a 12-year-old boy crying with frustration while trying to teach his 9-year-old sister math went viral online, gaining 8 million views on Douyin alone. The boy apparently took the initiative in teaching his younger sister after seeing their mother become exasperated with the girl’s lack of progress. Initially, the boy was a patient and gentle teacher, but soon became despondent at his sister’s failure to grasp how to solve the math problem.
Two property owners ordered to apologize to one another after a year of online quarrels
Two property owners in Changsha, Hunan province, lost their lawsuits for defamation against one another and were ordered by the court to mutually apologize after 14 months of online and offline quarreling. In 2021, Sun Xiaoling and Wang Xiaomeng argued in a WeChat group chat over the lack of transparency in their compound’s property owners’ committee (of which Wang was a member). This led the two to trade insults in various WeChat and QQ groups, before escalating over the year into physical harassment and eventually, mutual lawsuits which they both lost.