Communist Party announces new leadership, woman buys apartment for 2,000 dollars, dad “plagiarizes” daughter’s drawings, and multiple fashion brands make bad choices—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.
National Congress closes with new party leadership announced
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China closed on October 22 after seven days, with 2,338 representatives attending the closing ceremony. They elected the 20th Central Committee of the CPC, consisting of 205 members and 171 alternate members. A Politburo Standing Committee, whose seven members will hold the Party’s top leadership roles, was also announced.
Father who “plagiarizes” his daughter’s paintings goes viral
A father surnamed Jin from Hangzhou, Zhejiang, went viral for recreating his 4-year-old daughter’s drawings, which sold out for 50,000 yuan within three days. Jin, who works in design, adapts his daughter Xiaomei’s whimsical drawings on cardboard into paintings, which have gotten millions of views online and sold for up to 6,666 yuan each. Five art galleries have invited Jin to exhibit these father-daughter artworks.
Woman buys apartment for 15,000 yuan
A 25-year-old woman by the surname Zhao has gone viral mid-October for buying a 46 square-meter apartment in Hegang, a small city in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, for merely 15,000 yuan (2,000 US dollars). Zhao, originally from Nanjing, Jiangsu province, told Hongxing News that she couldn’t purchase even half a meter of property in downtown Nanjing at this price, and explained the move to a smaller, more remote city was suited to her introverted personality and job as an illustrator who usually works from home. Hegang, a former coal-mining city in China’s “rustbelt,” has become a popular destination in recent years for young people seeking affordable property due to its depressed real estate prices and low cost of living.
Sportswear brand faces backlash for outfits resembling Japanese military uniforms
Domestic sportswear brand Li-Ning’s new military green jackets and aviator caps sparked outcry for their apparent resemblance to Japanese military outfits of World War II. The brand claimed its designs incorporated elements from aviator uniforms and drew inspiration from ancient Chinese military helmets. Li-Ning’s share prices fell by more than 13 percent on October 17, and continue to plummet despite the company’s public apology on October 19, with a total loss of 12.3 billion yuan in market value over three days by the close of that day.
Down jacket with “fashionable” holes confuses buyers
A down jacket sold for 1,599 yuan by an online shop went viral for being peppered over with heart-shaped holes, a stylistic choice that the shop claimed was inspired by the oracle bone script of the Chinese character “heart.” When asked how such a jacket could keep buyers warm, customer service allegedly replied, “Wear more clothing underneath,” leading many netizens to comment that they can no longer understand modern fashion.
Fruit shop wins hearts with honest and humorous signs
A fruit shop beside a university in Shenyang, Liaoning province, won students’ hearts for its “honest” product signs. For instance, a board beside unripe oranges reads, “Green oranges don’t taste good, but we’re selling them to match the color [of other fruits],” while a sign beside pawpaws reads, “5 yuan for one pawpaw, and 7 yuan if you need them peeled. We hope everyone buys the unpeeled ones, because the boss’s dad is lazy and does not like peeling.” The shop owner’s mother, who runs the store along with her husband, told the media that her son wrote those signs to relieve his parents’ burden of answering customers’ inquiries.