Black cat in Nanjing
Photo Credit: Screenshot from Haokan Video

Giant Cat Mistaken for Lynx and Other Trending News

China’s first UFC winner reclaims title, mysterious patterns under lake, milk tea shop closed for greetings, and students crawl for stress-relief—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.

Zhang Weili reclaims UFC title

Mixed martial artist Zhang Weili, China’s first female victor at the Ultimate Fighting Championship, reclaimed her strawweight title on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City by defeating two-time title holder Carla Esparza. Zhang was the first Asian female to win a UFC title in 2019 as well as the first Chinese UFC champion in history, and has long been seen as a representation of Chinese female empowerment.

China revises quarantine rules, policies for inbound flights

On Friday, China’s State Council eased some policies on pandemic control, including shortening centralized quarantine periods for close contacts of confirmed cases and inbound travelers to five days, and removing “circuit-breaker” measures for inbound international flights—it will no longer be suspending flights if too many passengers from previous flights test positive on arrival. Quarantine and medical surveillance are no longer required for secondary close contacts, while risk area classifications have now been revised into “high” and “low,” replacing the three-tiered system of “high,” “medium,” and “low.”

Milk tea shop suspended for greeting customers

Video footage from Zhaozhou county, Heilongjiang province, showed local inspectors in plainclothes shutting down a milk tea shop for one month because a staff member greeted them at the door with, “Welcome, please scan your health code”—because according to them, the employee should have asked them to scan their Covid-19 health QR code before saying anything else. Irate netizens compared the practice to “entrapment,” where a law enforcement officer tricks a person into an illegal act that they wouldn’t have otherwise committed, and the county government announced it is investigating the matter and that one of the officials has apologized to the shop.

Mysterious patterns under receding lake

Recent aerial shots of Dongting Lake in Hunan province revealed several mysterious red square patterns on the lake bottom. Dongting Lake, China’s second-largest freshwater lake, has seen record low levels of water this year, which made the maze-like patterns visible from above. Despite speculations that they are ruins of an ancient city or an ancient tomb, experts believe the patterns are traces of modern enclosures built to hold fish and shrimps in the lake when the water level drops.

Students crawl for stress-relief

Following the recent fad of making and walking “cardboard dogs” for stress relief, Chinese university students are apparently looking to further de-stress by crawling in circles around campus at night. A viral video showed students doing this at the Communication University of China (CUC), where the trend apparently started before spreading to other campuses. Security staff at CUC told the media that the activity was a spontaneous one, while the netizens speculate it is a further response to students resisting endless campus lockdowns.

Shenzhen confirms menstrual holiday

Shenzhen’s Human Resources and Social Security Bureau made waves this week for its response to a petition for implementing menstrual leaves, confirming that national health regulations since 1993 have included a clause granting one to two days off work for women suffering from severe menstrual cramps. Some netizens mistook this news Shenzhen establishing a “menstrual leave,” but others point out that the regulation is still too vague to be effective, while still others fear a menstrual leave might lead employers to discriminate against women in future hiring decisions. Prior to this, more than 10 provinces have come out with local regulations to affirm the right of women to take menstrual leave.

Giant falling cat mistaken for lynx

On November 11, a giant black feline that fell from the seventh floor sought shelter in a shop in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. The shop owner, believing the creature was a lynx, reached out to the police to send it to an animal protection station, where it was identified as a Maine Coon, a breed of large domestic cats. The owner of the cat later explained that the cat fell because it was too heavy for their balcony, which was in need of repairs.

86-year-old marathon finisher inspires many

Dressed in a blue track suit and yellow hat, 86-year-old Zhang Shun became the oldest runner in this year’s Beijing Marathon, finishing last in the race that took place in the Chinese capital on November 6. Footage of Zhang crossing the finish line after 6 hours and 16 minutes went viral, with many netizens expressing admiration for his perseverance. Zhang began running marathons at age 81 and has participated in over 20 marathons since then.


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