World of Warcraft may leave China, woman tricked into having head shaved, luxury potato chip bag sells out, Beijing’s top soccer team loses to amateurs—it’s Viral Week
Major video games on brink of removal from China
Hugely popular games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Starcraft may soon no longer be available in China after game developer Activision Blizzard announced they had failed to reach a new agreement with China’s NetEase to renew a licensing agreement. NetEase has distributed Activision Blizzard‘s games for the past 14 years, but now the games will no longer be available from January 2023 unless a new distributor is found. Foreign game makers must obtain a license and distribute their games through a domestic partner in China. World of Warcraft alone has around 3 million players in China.
Luxury potato chip bag sells out
European fashion brand Balenciaga recently unveiled a 13,000-yuan leather clutch that looks exactly like a Lay’s potato chip bag with a zipper on top. According to Balenciaga stores in Beijing, these bags will be available from next April, but all the stock allocted to the brand’s Shanghai location has already been pre-ordered. Meanwhile, some Chinese netizens have created inexpensive alternatives, by actually fixing zippers on to chip bags.
Woman who agreed to film haircut shaved bald
A woman in Wuhan, Hubei province, who was tricked into having her head shaved raised concern and brought public attention to an online market for videos of women’s haircuts driven by hair festishists. The woman, named Xiaoxi, had agreed to be a haircut model and have her hair cut with the process filmed, but was shocked when she returned home to find the back of her head completely shaved. Her experience and many other similar stories that came to light in recent days drew public attention to a decade-long online industry of hair-themed pornographic videos, where so-called “hairdressers” cheat women to cut their hair or shave their head and film the process to sell online to people with a hair fetish.
A video of an eight-months pregnant woman, surnamed Hu, who has four daughters already, sparked public debate after she claimed her husband wanted to divorce her and marry someone else in order to have a son. The man apparently believes their next child would be another girl. According to Hu, who lives in Zhejiang province, her husband has moved out of their apartment, told her they should divorce as soon as possible and offered to pay one thousand yuan every month as child support. Hu says the couple will return back to their hometown in Guizhou at the end of the year to register their divorce.
In Hunan, Yongzhou, a group of middle-aged women used hammers to chip away parking lines before using red paint to write ”don’t park here” on the site as the new parking lot has occupied the space they use for square dancing. The viral footage brought public criticism of the women. The local authorities admonished the women and plan to re-do the parking lines.
Top professional Beijing soccer club loses to amateurs
Last week, Beijing Guo’an FC, the country’s oldest professional team who play in the top-tier Chinese Super League, were knocked out of the Chinese Football Association Cup by Jingchuan Wenhui, a team of amateurs. Jingchun were only established last year, and are based in Jingchun county, Gansu province, while Beijing Guo’an are former CFA Cup winners. The shock result saw Guo’an widely ridiculed online.
Residents in an apartment complex in Chongqing apparently requested the removal of topiary sheep from green areas near their homes because the character for sheep (羊
yáng) sounds the same as the character for a positive Covid test (阳). The sheep were removed and apparently replaced with green horse sculptures, because “green horse (绿马 lǜmǎ)” sounds the same as the word for ”green health code (绿码 lǜmǎ).”
Deliberate pet poisonings outrage netizens
Recently, incidents of animals being poisoned to death have invoked rage on Weibo. Chengdu residents reported dozens of such cases over the past few months, in which their pet dogs were fed dangerous food (mixed with blades or soaked in poison) by strangers during walks, and subsequently got sick or died. Some pet owners discovered a WeChat group named “Reveal the True Face of Dog Lovers,” in which hundreds of members frequently discuss how to abuse dogs. Meanwhile, netizens in Nanjing also reported concentrated cases of stray cats found dead.