10 Top Trending China News Stories of 2020

By That's, December 23, 2020

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As is the That’s tradition, we’ve compiled our 2020 China Year in Review series. So sit back and relive the highs and lows of the last 12 crazy months.

Video of Nude Woman Masturbating in Chinese IKEA Goes Viral

Video screengrab via WeChat

An amateur pornographic video featuring a young woman masturbating in a Chinese IKEA went viral in early May, forcing the Swedish home decor company to issue a statement following the embarrassing incident. The graphic footage showed a half-naked Chinese woman masturbating on furniture throughout the warehouse’s showroom as seemingly oblivious customers – including children – wandering around in the background. 

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Chinese Kids Wear ‘One-Meter Hats’ to Practice Social Distancing

Image via Zhejiang Daily/Weibo

In late April, teachers in Zhejiang province had the clever idea of practicing social distancing in the classroom with colorful ‘one-meter hats’ on the first day of the new semester. The school’s headmaster, surnamed Hong, told the press that the DIY quarantine hats were a fun way to help classmates keep a safe distance between one another. “We encourage our students to wear the hats to stay at least one meter away from each other,” said Hong. Students used balloons, cardboard and other colorful decorating materials to design their cute creations. Maybe countries in Europe and the Americas can take a hint!

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Walrus Paraded Around Guangzhou Mall Outrages Netizens

walrus1.jpgImage via Dianping

A Guangzhou aquarium had the ‘brilliant’ idea of letting walruses roam inside pedestrian-heavy Grandview Mall to celebrate Children’s Day on June 1. A netizen posted a photo of the shocking scene on Weibo, which shows one walrus surrounded by spectators on the second floor of the mall in the city’s Tianhe district. Perhaps it comes as no surprise since the mall and the Grandview Aquarium have long had a bad reputation among shoppers. A top commenter on Weibo wrote, “Grandview Aquarium is really disgusting, there have been reports of abuse of polar bears before.” Another netizen added, “A place famous for animal cruelty.”

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Chinese Internet Reacts to Trump Testing Positive for COVID-19

Image via Wikimedia

At the beginning of October, US President Donald Trump dropped a bombshell by tweeting that both he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. Trump, 74 years old, has been rarely seen wearing a mask during the pandemic, and at the first presidential debate openly mocked Joe Biden for often wearing masks. On Chinese social media, the news was heavily trending, with some Chinese netizens calling Trump’s positive result “a universal celebration” (普天同庆) while others shared translations from trending topics on Twitter.

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Shenzhen Becomes 1st Chinese City to Ban Dog and Cat Consumption

dogcat.jpgImage via Unsplash

Shenzhen made history in April of this year after the city passed the ‘Wild Ban Order,’ making it the first Chinese mainland city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. The regulation went into effect on May 1. The timing followed Beijing’s move to ban the trade and consumption of certain terrestrial wild animals. In the passed bill, the Shenzhen government stated, “Cats and dogs, as pets, have established a closer relationship with humans than other animals. The ban on the consumption of pets such as cats and dogs is also common practice in developed places like Hong Kong, Taiwan and other regions.” Kudos to Shenzhen for doing the right thing!

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China Launches 'Clean Plate Campaign' to Reduce Food Waste

clean-plate-china.jpgImage via Pixabay

China launched a ‘Clean Plate Campaign’ in August to reduce food waste after President Xi Jinping called the amount wasted “shocking and distressing.” Xi highlighted the need to maintain a sense of crisis regarding food security, amid the fallout of the COVID-19 epidemic, which he said had “sounded the alarm.” Regional catering industry associations responded by urging restaurants to limit the number of dishes served to diners and advocating an ‘N-1 policy‘ – implementing a system where groups must order one dish less than the number of diners.

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Shanghai Socialite Wannabes WeChat Group Exposed

Image via Unsplash

A Shanghai socialite group was put on blast in October after blogger Li Zhonger (李中二) wrote an article on WeChat exposing the frugal fashionistas. Li Zhonger was first intrigued by a poster on WeChat which advertised the group as a place to talk about luxury goods with wealthy women, influencers and befriend financial elites. The blogger paid the RMB500 membership fee and after a month in the chat, they realized that it, in fact, was a “high-end version of Pinduoduo” (referred to as the Chinese version of Groupon). While we have nothing against a good deal or splitting costs, group members would split the price of a two-person room at the Bulgari Hotel Shanghai with up to 40 people. Each person would then pay around RMB125 to go upstairs, take a picture and geotag the location. 

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China Orders Closure of US Consulate in Chengdu

Image via US Embassy & Consulates in China’s official website

In late July, China ordered the US to close its consulate in Sichuan’s capital city, Chengdu. The move followed a surprising order by the Trump administration to close the Chinese consulate in Houston, where some of the most populated states in the US had relied on visa and consular services. Speculation had been brewing on how China would respond to the closure of its consulate in Houston, with State-run newspaper Global Times even creating a poll on Twitter asking users which US consulate in China was most likely to be shut down. As we learned, Chengdu didn’t make the cut. The consulate opened in 1985 and held consular jurisdiction of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces as well as the Tibet Autonomous Region and Chongqing. Well, not anymore…

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Visitors Witness Bears Killing Breeder at Shanghai Wild Animal Park

Brown_Bear_in_Shanghai_Zoo.jpegImage via Wikimedia

Visitors at Shanghai Wild Animal Park were emotionally scarred after witnessing a park employee attacked by a group of bears in late October, ultimately leading to the worker’s death. The employee was said to be doing his job when the attack happened. The zoo apologized to guests for the “inconvenience.” It said in a statement that they would cooperate with authorities to investigate the attack and improve safety regulations to prevent future incidents. Some netizens voiced their disapproval for zoos, while others noted that there have been too many other incidents where visitors have been harmed and even killed by animals at zoos.

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Missing Hangzhou Woman Dismembered by Husband, Police Say

woman-hangzhou.jpgImage via @小强热线-浙江教科/Weibo

In late July, the husband of Lai Huili, a woman in Hangzhou who went missing earlier that month, confessed to killing his wife in her sleep and dismembering her body. According to police, the man said he committed the murder because of family troubles. Parts of the victim’s body were found after draining the community’s septic tank.

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For more 2020 China Year in Review, click here.

[Cover image via Wikimedia [1,2Unsplash, WeChat]

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